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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Arthur Chrenkoff has part four of his "Good News From Iraq" feature.

Oh, it's a large post because there is so much good news.

Wild Weasel has proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that the U.S. is the greatest evil the world has ever seen. Just as the left has insisted for all these years.

Via sensei Instapundit: This was in The Guardian and leftists are screaming that Saddam Hussein was in no way, absolutely, positively, no chance, uh uh, nananananaIcan'thearyouIcan'thearyounanananana not a threat to the U.S.?

Oh this is too good to be true:

Saddam Hussein's regime has opened talks with Osama bin Laden, bringing closer the threat of a terrorist attack using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, according to US intelligence sources and Iraqi opposition officials.

The key meeting took place in the Afghan mountains near Kandahar in late December. The Iraqi delegation was led by Farouk Hijazi, Baghdad's ambassador in Turkey and one of Saddam's most powerful secret policemen, who is thought to have offered Bin Laden asylum in Iraq.

Who was president of the U.S. in 1999 at the time of this article? No, it was not George W. Bush. It was Bill Clinton.

The left has completely forgotten what happened in the 10 years prior to 9/11. They conveniently forgot the threats Saddam posed and how he harbored and funded terrorists. This amnesia took place on September 12th and I suspect it has a lot to do with France's opposition to America's national defense.

I'm disgusted at the left's willingness to see America attacked and thousands die just so they can win at the ballot box.

My contempt for the international left grows by the day.

Via Andrew Sullivan. Army Unit Claims Victory Over Sheik

The U.S. Army First Armored Division has written the book on how to defeat a counterinsurgency within a region. In this case it was the southern region of Iraq in several different cities.

According to the Washington Times, several thousand of al Sadr's militia were killed.

I still have hope for Iraq.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Bill O'Reilly once again devastates the New York Times:

This is from their editorial: "Mr. Bush has also used a terrorist named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as evidence of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda...but the Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet (search) told the Senate this year that Mr. Zarqawi did not work with the Hussein regime, nor under the direction of Al Qaeda."

Well, "Talking Points" found that editorial to be very strange, very strange indeed because in the testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on February 11, 2003, one month before the start of the Iraq war, Tenet said this: "Iraq is harboring senior members of a terrorist network led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a close associate of Usama bin Laden."

You can look it up. Maybe Tenet contradicted himself, but "The New York Times" owes it to the readers to report the terrorism story accurately. And the paper is simply not doing that.

The result is a division in this country and a lack of resolve in fighting these vicious terrorists. Many Americans are simply confused. They are hearing so many contradictory claims.

The reason "The New York Times" is misleading us is explained in my column this week, which can be accessed on billoreilly.com.

But make no mistake about it. The more divided America and the world is over how to combat terrorism, the easier it is for the terrorists to kill us. The spin must stop. Our lives depend on it.

Now, when I visited O'Reilly's page and found the article he alluded to I found this quote. It's not very surprising to me, but some people might not know:

In the world of the Times, Americans like Ronald Reagan who want a smaller federal government are radicals--mean people who want to hurt minorities. Those who believe symbols of Judeo-Christian philosophy should be freely exhibited in public are "fundamentalists." If you oppose abortion you are "anti-woman." If you're against gay marriage, you are, quite possibly, homophobic. The number of personal attacks in the Times has increased dramatically over the past few years, and if you don't believe me, just ask Mel Gibson.

As the Blues Brothers once remarked, "We're on a mission from God." The Times, of course, would remove God from that quotation. The paper is definitely on a mission, and the gloves are off. Arthur Sulzberger and his tribe want a secular nation with few judgments on personal behavior, income redistribution through taxation of the affluent, and a foreign policy that seeks consensus at almost all costs.

That's the sign of the Times today. And God (sorry) help you if you're standing in its way.

The New York Times is a leftwing newspaper. That sums it up. If you want to know where the left is all you have to do is to read the NY Times and pay attention to what they consider news.

Wow. Christopher Hitchens completely devastates Michael Moore's "Farenheit 9/11."

I haven't seen this execrable film nor do I have any intention of seeing it. Thank goodness Hitchens saw it and highlights the lies in an article he titles, "Unfarenheit 9/11 The Lies of Michael Moore."

I have to excerpt some of the more astute observations Hitchens makes.

In late 2002, almost a year after the al-Qaida assault on American society, I had an onstage debate with Michael Moore at the Telluride Film Festival. In the course of this exchange, he stated his view that Osama Bin Laden should be considered innocent until proven guilty. This was, he said, the American way. The intervention in Afghanistan, he maintained, had been at least to that extent unjustified. Something—I cannot guess what, since we knew as much then as we do now—has since apparently persuaded Moore that Osama Bin Laden is as guilty as hell. Indeed, Osama is suddenly so guilty and so all-powerful that any other discussion of any other topic is a dangerous "distraction" from the fight against him.

More:

And Richard Clarke, Bush's former chief of counterterrorism, has come forward to say that he, and he alone, took the responsibility for authorizing those Saudi departures. This might not matter so much to the ethos of Fahrenheit 9/11, except that—as you might expect—Clarke is presented throughout as the brow-furrowed ethical hero of the entire post-9/11 moment. And it does not seem very likely that, in his open admission about the Bin Laden family evacuation, Clarke is taking a fall, or a spear in the chest, for the Bush administration. So, that's another bust for this windy and bloated cinematic "key to all mythologies."

I have to stop right here and say that this is most significant. The man who said that Condoleeza Rice didn't even know who al Qaida was is now admitting that he, and he alone, authorized the bin Laden's to leave the U.S. after 9/11. The wacky left, and Michael Moore, insisted that it was a cozy Bush-bin Laden relationship that let the bin Laden's leave the U.S.

Conspiracy theory demolished. Now back to the excerpts:

The president is also captured in a well-worn TV news clip, on a golf course, making a boilerplate response to a question on terrorism and then asking the reporters to watch his drive. Well, that's what you get if you catch the president on a golf course. If Eisenhower had done this, as he often did, it would have been presented as calm statesmanship. If Clinton had done it, as he often did, it would have shown his charm. More interesting is the moment where Bush is shown frozen on his chair at the infant school in Florida, looking stunned and useless for seven whole minutes after the news of the second plane on 9/11. Many are those who say that he should have leaped from his stool, adopted a Russell Crowe stance, and gone to work. I could even wish that myself. But if he had done any such thing then (as he did with his "Let's roll" and "dead or alive" remarks a month later), half the Michael Moore community would now be calling him a man who went to war on a hectic, crazed impulse. The other half would be saying what they already say—that he knew the attack was coming, was using it to cement himself in power, and couldn't wait to get on with his coup. This is the line taken by Gore Vidal and by a scandalous recent book that also revives the charge of FDR's collusion over Pearl Harbor. At least Moore's film should put the shameful purveyors of that last theory back in their paranoid box.

Here's a tidbit that many on the left conveniently forget:

Iraqi forces fired, every day, for 10 years, on the aircraft that patrolled the no-fly zones and staved off further genocide in the north and south of the country. In 1993, a certain Mr. Yasin helped mix the chemicals for the bomb at the World Trade Center and then skipped to Iraq, where he remained a guest of the state until the overthrow of Saddam. In 2001, Saddam's regime was the only one in the region that openly celebrated the attacks on New York and Washington and described them as just the beginning of a larger revenge. Its official media regularly spewed out a stream of anti-Semitic incitement. I think one might describe that as "threatening," even if one was narrow enough to think that anti-Semitism only menaces Jews. And it was after, and not before, the 9/11 attacks that Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi moved from Afghanistan to Baghdad and began to plan his now very open and lethal design for a holy and ethnic civil war. On Dec. 1, 2003, the New York Times reported—and the David Kay report had established—that Saddam had been secretly negotiating with the "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il in a series of secret meetings in Syria, as late as the spring of 2003, to buy a North Korean missile system, and missile-production system, right off the shelf. (This attempt was not uncovered until after the fall of Baghdad, the coalition's presence having meanwhile put an end to the negotiations.)

Damn those pesky facts!

Thus, in spite of the film's loaded bias against the work of the mind, you can grasp even while watching it that Michael Moore has just said, in so many words, the one thing that no reflective or informed person can possibly believe: that Saddam Hussein was no problem. No problem at all. Now look again at the facts I have cited above. If these things had been allowed to happen under any other administration, you can be sure that Moore and others would now glibly be accusing the president of ignoring, or of having ignored, some fairly unmistakable "warnings."

If the Bush family and the al-Saud dynasty live in each other's pockets, as is alleged in a sort of vulgar sub-Brechtian scene with Arab headdresses replacing top hats, then how come the most reactionary regime in the region has been powerless to stop Bush from demolishing its clone in Kabul and its buffer regime in Baghdad? The Saudis hate, as they did in 1991, the idea that Iraq's recuperated oil industry might challenge their near-monopoly. They fear the liberation of the Shiite Muslims they so despise. To make these elementary points is to collapse the whole pathetic edifice of the film's "theory."

Moore hopes people will forget what he's said from one moment to the next. It's very important to his arguments that people have a very short attention span.

Poor people often volunteer to join the army, and some of them are duskier than others. Betcha didn't know that. Back in Flint, Mich., Moore feels on safe ground. There are no martyred rabbits this time. Instead, it's the poor and black who shoulder the packs and rifles and march away. I won't dwell on the fact that black Americans have fought for almost a century and a half, from insisting on their right to join the U.S. Army and fight in the Civil War to the right to have a desegregated Army that set the pace for post-1945 civil rights. I'll merely ask this: In the film, Moore says loudly and repeatedly that not enough troops were sent to garrison Afghanistan and Iraq. (This is now a favorite cleverness of those who were, in the first place, against sending any soldiers at all.) Well, where does he think those needful heroes and heroines would have come from? Does he favor a draft—the most statist and oppressive solution? Does he think that only hapless and gullible proles sign up for the Marines? Does he think—as he seems to suggest—that parents can "send" their children, as he stupidly asks elected members of Congress to do? Would he have abandoned Gettysburg because the Union allowed civilians to pay proxies to serve in their place? Would he have supported the antidraft (and very antiblack) riots against Lincoln in New York? After a point, one realizes that it's a waste of time asking him questions of this sort. It would be too much like taking him seriously. He'll just try anything once and see if it floats or flies or gets a cheer.

The whole article is a must read for anyone who thinks Michael Moore is a genuine and honest film maker. He's not. He's a con man who is out to make as much money as he can and if that means that he has to lie, cheat or deceive he will. In a minute. Michael Moore is a disgusting person who probably doesn't hate his country. He's just out to make as much money as he can and if he has to lie about his country to do it, then, "Oh well."

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Whurl Girl features the sort of the "off the beaten path" stories that are both educational and delightful. Go, see what I mean.

Wow. Tom Gross in National Review features damning examples of the sort of reporting the BBC does:

The BBC: Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais, from Saudi Arabia, who opened London's biggest mosque last Friday, is a respected leader who works for "community cohesion" and "building communities."

Not mentioned on the BBC: Some of the views of Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais. In his own words: In the name of Allah, the Jews must be "annihilated." They are "the scum of the human race, the rats of the world... the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs."

The BBC's Charter and its Producers Guidelines state: "Due impartiality lies at the heart of the BBC. All programs and services should be open minded, fair and show a respect for truth... [BBC reports should] contain comprehensive, authoritative and impartial coverage of news and current affairs in the United Kingdom and throughout the world...."

The BBC makes many good programs when it comes to drama, comedy, sport, and science. But its enormous news division — by far the world's biggest — is another story.

Further within the article we read this:

BBC Online for example, last Saturday, gave the impression that al-Sudais was nothing but a benign, kindly cleric promoting (to quote the BBC) "community cohesion" between Muslims and their neighbors.

"The centre was opened as Friday prayers took place, led by one of Islam's most renowned Imams, and celebrations will continue throughout the weekend," said the BBC. "Worshippers had come to hear Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais, Imam of the Ka'ba, Islam's holiest mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.... With many unable to enter the new centre, some worshippers took to praying on a street behind the mosque using prayer mats and even newspapers." We are told that the center "will bolster London's reputation as a vibrant and diverse international city" and has a "spirit of modesty."

Earlier in Gross's article we hear what al-Sudais was preaching in his mosque:

"Read history," implored al-Sudais to his massed ranks of followers in another of his sermons, on February 1, 2004, "and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil fathers of the Jews of today, who are evil offspring, infidels ... calf-worshippers, prophet-murderers, prophecy-deniers...the scum of the human race whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs.... These are the Jews, a continuous lineage of meanness, cunning, obstinacy, tyranny, licentiousness, evil, and corruption...."

Al-Sudais has repeated these words, or close variations of them, at several other sermons in recent years. It is because of these and other calls for violence against Christians, Hindus, and Americans, that the Canadian government last month denied al-Sudais a visa to enter Canada.

Isn't that nice?

Here's more of the type of "unbiased" reporting the BBC is famous for:

Over the years, Hamas has been blamed for scores of suicide attacks on Israel," says the BBC, thereby trying to suggest to listeners and viewers that Hamas has perhaps been wrongly accused of such attacks (even though Hamas itself has proudly and repeatedly claimed responsibility for them in mass celebratory rallies in Gaza, Jenin, and elsewhere.)

Two Palestinian gunmen opened fire indiscriminately in the heart of the northern Israeli town of Afula, killing two young Israeli civilians and wounding over 50 others. They themselves were then shot dead by Israeli policemen. The headline on the BBC website read: "Four Die in Israel Shooting Rampage," suggesting that four innocent people had died, possibly at the hands of the Israelis.

Unbelievable.

The whole article is devastating to the idea of BBC impartiality. To think that the British people are forced to pay for this crap. I would be outraged.

Impartial my ass.

You think one person doesn't mean that Saddam had ties to terrorist? Consider this:

....the man who mixed the chemicals for the 1993 World Trade Center bomb, Abdul Rahman Yasin, came from and returned to Baghdad, where he lived for the next ten years.

The ties between Saddam and terror are even more clear when you remember that he was giving $25,000 to the family of suicide bombers for the slaughter of Israelis.

Saddam had a wide ranging relationship with various terrorist organizations. Whether he did or didn't have a hand in 9/11 is irrelevant. He did in fact support terrorist organizations and it was likely that these relationships would have escalated until Saddam was able to arm one of these allies with a suitcase nuke or chemical or biological weapons.

The left was willing to wait and see. I will be forever grateful that Tony Blair and George W. Bush decided that they could not trust Saddam.

The left was perfectly willing to trust a madman who had already used WMD's on the Iranians as well as his own people. They were willing to trust a man who had already invaded two of his neighbors. They were willing to trust a man who made a move to corner the world oil market in 1990 and they were willing to see if they could contain a man who slaughtered hundreds of thousands his own people.

How much more of a threat does a man have to represent before we can pre-emptively remove him from power? Perhaps if we'd taken this similar course of action in the 1930's million and millions of lives could have been spared.

The left is making all the same arguments today as they were in the 1930's. They don't like to call it appeasement anymore (that was a respected diplomatic idea in the 1930's if you can believe that!), but that's exactly the course of action they are advocating.

Thank God the left wasn't running this country on 9/11.

Bill O'Reilly had a great Talking Points memo the other night. I meant to post it and I'm glad it's still up at the Fox News Channel website. Here's the memo in it's entirety:
Once again we are mislead by some in the press.

I know some of you complain about me, but it’s on days like this that you should appreciate the No Spin Zone.

The 9/11 Commission (search) has come to some conclusions and Thursday newspapers across the country blared headlines.

The New York Times wrote: "Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq tie."

The Washington Post put forth: "Al Qaeda-Hussein Link Is Dismissed."

The Los Angeles Times opined: "No Signs of Iraq-Al Qaeda Ties Found."

And even the conservative Wall Street Journal trumpeted: "No Iraq-al Qaeda Link."

But if you read below the headlines you see the Commission said something a bit different: That there was no a collaborative relationship between Saddam and Al Qaeda regarding Sept. 11. That's true, but there were certainly links and ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda and that's provable.

The smoking gun is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search), an Al Qaeda leader who found his way to Baghdad after being severely wounded fighting against American forces in Afghanistan.

Zarqawi arrived in Iraq in May of 2002 and had surgery in an Iraqi hospital, run by -- are you ready -- Uday Hussein. I believe that might be a tie, but there's more.

Next, the Al Qaeda big shot -- who was wanted by the USA -- traveled to Lebanon to meet with leaders of Hezbollah.

A short time after that meeting, in October of 2002, Lawrence Foley, an American official, was assassinated in Jordan. The arrested killers said Zarqawi was involved in the plot.

Zarqawi wound up back in Iraq after the assassination of Foley and met up with the Ansar al-Islam group, which operated in Northern Iraq and is affiliated with Al Qaeda.

In January 2003, several Ansar terrorists were arrested in Britain and charged with planning to put Ricin in the military food supply. Some of those terrorists fingered Zarqawi in the plot.

Right now, Zarqawi is believed to be in Fallujah working with some of Saddam's former generals in planning terror attacks. Just last week he took credit for killing 13 people in a bombing.

I believe that's a lot of links and ties between Saddam, Iraq and Al Qaeda. But again, I believe the Commission when it says Saddam was not directly involved with Sept. 11. That’s true.

Faced with the misleading headlines ... President Bush said this Thursday:

“The reason that I keep insisting that there’s was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and Al Qaeda, because there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda. This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and Al Qaeda.”

So, what we have hear is spin. Some in the press used the Commission's report -- which is accurate -- to suggest Bush mislead the public about Saddam and Al Qaeda.

I do not believe that is true.

And that's The Memo.
I don't always agree with O'Reilly and that may surprise many leftwingers. They probably think I march in lockstep (or is it goose step?) with O'Reilly. The truth is that I very often think he's full of himself. But in this instance, O'Reilly knocks it out of the park. This is perhaps one of his greatest memos ever.

Wow. The Opinion Journal features a revealing editorial complete with a graph that shows the yawning gap between the U.S. and European per capita GDP.

But what about equality? Well, the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line has dropped to 12% from 22% since 1959. In 1999, 25% of American households were considered "low income," meaning they had an annual income of less than $25,000. If Sweden--the very model of a modern welfare state--were judged by the same standard, about 40% of its households would be considered low-income.

In other words poverty is relative, and in the U.S. a large 45.9% of the "poor" own their homes, 72.8% have a car and almost 77% have air conditioning, which remains a luxury in most of Western Europe. The average living space for poor American households is 1,200 square feet. In Europe, the average space for all households, not just the poor, is 1,000 square feet.

So what is Europe's problem? "The expansion of the public sector into overripe welfare states in large parts of Europe is and remains the best guess as to why our continent cannot measure up to our neighbor in the west," the authors write. In 1999, average EU tax revenues were more than 40% of GDP, and in some countries above 50%, compared with less than 30% for most of the U.S.

They consider us to be a shallow, consumer based society? Well, another way to say that is to say that we have a much higher standard of living.

Hmmm. Now, when you say it that way......