Sean's Blog

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Friday, July 23, 2004

Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points memo from last night:
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.

The truth about 9/11 and the war in Iraq, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." In just a few moments, we'll talk with the two men in charge of the commission, but here are the report highlights:

• Presidents Clinton and Bush were not guilty of anything but failing to perceive the extent of the Al Qaeda (search ) threat.

• The CIA (search) and FBI (search) were incapable of stopping the attack because of chaos inside those agencies.

• The CIA didn't have good enough intelligence on the ground.

• And the FBI big shots didn't listen to their field agents.

Saddam did have a relationship with Bin Laden, but did not assist him in the 9/11 attack. Those are the headlines. And the committee recommends a new terror czar, approved by the Senate and reporting directly to the president, and much more intense high tech surveillance of U.S. ports of entry and terror suspects.

Now ideologues on both sides will spin the report. But "Talking points" believes it should be left alone.

Very simply, the commission did an excellent job. Page 66 of the 567-page report caught my eye. And it says, "In July [1998], an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with bin Laden...Similar meetings between Iraqi officials and bin Laden — or his aides may have occurred in 1999 during a period of some reported strains with the Taliban. According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered bin Laden a safe haven in Iraq. But to date, we have seen no evidence that these or earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship, nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with Al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States."

So put yourself in President Bush's position. According to the Senate investigation, Lord Butler's British investigation and Vladimir Putin, the intelligence assessments on Iraqi WMDs all said Saddam had them. That, of course, turned to be faulty, at least for now.

But Bush and Blair were told the WMDs were inside Iraq. They were also being told that Saddam had a relationship with bin Laden. Do the math. Would you, as president, let that scenario play out while the U.N. dithered around?

What if Saddam Hussein did have anthrax, gave it to Al Qaeda, and a month later San Francisco was attacked? What if President Bush had ignored the intel and a disaster took place? Well, you know the answer. Mr. Bush would have been driven from office and gone down in history as a villain.

Any fair-minded person knows that the president had to act. The remaining legitimate questions concerned the timing and the planning of the Iraq action.

So there you have it — truth is always a good thing.

And that's "The Memo."

James Lileks:
So what do we do with a guy who not only treats his trousers as a diplomatic pouch but was national security adviser during the years when al-Qaida feasted on American laziness?

Cue predictable response: "It's not like Berger lied and we went to war and people died for nothing and we're not safer and what about Iran? Huh?" Subject changed, mission accomplished.

But. Back up. After Sept. 11, you might recall, the country didn't blame President Clinton for inaction, or for insufficiently pasting al-Qaida. The general consensus gave him a pass, because everyone was too busy having fun in the '90s to care much about the hairy, scary nut cases who wanted us dead. People gave the Clinton team a pass. The clock was reset at ground zero, and we thought we'd move forward from there. But that was before the "BUSH KNEW" headlines. Before the Sept. 11 commission's elevation of Dick Clarke and others who sought to blame Bush, not Clinton. It became political again.

Fine. That's how they want it, that's how it'll go. So, Sen. Kerry: Did your "informal" adviser tell you what was in the memos? Did he tell you he'd taken them? Did you know about the investigation before it was leaked, and did you keep Berger on as an "informal" adviser anyway?

What did you know, and when did you know it?
Yes, if this is how we're going to play the game we do expect a little consistency from the media.

Flight 93:
Once the hijackers were in control, they knew that passengers were using cell phones and seat-back phones to call the ground "but did not seem to care," according to the report. Yet clearly what the passengers learned in those phone calls inspired their counterattack on the cockpit.

The report said it was "quite possible" that the hijacker flying the plane, Ziad Jarrah, knew that the attack on the World Trade Center had succeeded; he could, for example, have read the text messages intended for Captain Dahl.

"It might not have occurred to him that they were certain to learn what had happened in New York, thereby defeating his attempts at deception," the report said.

Of the 33 passengers on the plane who were not hijackers, at least 10, and two crew members, spoke to people on the ground. At least five of the calls included discussion of the World Trade Center. At 9:57, about seven minutes before the end, one of the passengers ended her conversation saying: "Everyone's running up to first class. I've got to go. Bye."

The report indicates that Mr. Jarrah, at the controls of United 93, did what many airline pilots have fantasized about since the hijackings: tried to maneuver the plane sharply, rolling and pitching, to keep control of the cockpit. It apparently did not work; the plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

The report does not clarify whether the hijackers' goal for Flight 93 was the White House or the Capitol, but indicates that the hijackers tuned a cockpit radio to the frequency of a navigation beacon at National Airport, just across the Potomac River from the capital, erasing any doubt about the region of their intended destination.
Can you imagine being on that plane?

I read stuff like this and my resolve is renewed. We must fight and win this struggle.

The United Nations are simply ridiculous:
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has named a new envoy to Baghdad: Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, an experienced diplomat and Pakistan's ambassador to Washington. And once again the United Nations insists on going to Iraq not as a partner of the U.S.-led Coalition and the newly installed interim Iraqi government, but as what would amount to an official opposition to both.

It would be criminal to send Qazi and his staff to Baghdad where, deprived of adequate protection, they would be easy targets of the terrorists.

For the U.N. to treat the Coalition as lepers is bad politics, to say the least. The United States and its 33 partners account for some 60 percent of the U.N.'s total budget. The Coalition is made up of nations from all continents, including two of the five veto-holding members of the Security Council.

Yet the U.N. bureaucracy insists that no one associated with the Americans should have a role in protecting its Iraq mission.

It was to avoid the American "lepers" that the Security Council voted seven weeks ago to create a special international force to protect the U.N. mission in Iraq. So far, however, not a single country has offered to join. And the French, Germans and Russians (who had most opposed the use of U.S. troops for the purpose) are not even prepared to contribute money for such a force. Worse still, they are pressuring other countries not to offer troops.

Annan's office speaks of "difficulties to be sorted out." That is not good enough. What we have here is an attempt at sabotaging Iraq's progress toward free elections.
The U.N. votes to send a delegation to Iraq as part of an effort to help the Iraqi people. That delegation obviously needs a force to protect itself, but so far the Europeans aren't offering any money or troops.

More games from the Europeans.

The U.N. is a despicable organization. My disgust with that organization grows by the day.

The articles I've read lately have indicated to me that a confrontation with Iran is inevitable even if all we do is to help the young people in that country overthrow the theocrats that run that government. David Warren features just the sort of piece I'm talking about:

Iran itself has been doing a better job of establishing a casus belli. With the sort of arrogance made visible even to Canadians in the recent "trial" of suspects in the murder of Zahra Kazemi, the regime's officials from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei down have been making bellicose declarations against America, Israel, and the West generally.

"Today we have in our possession long-range smart missiles which can reach many of the interests and vital resources of the Americans and of the Zionist regime in our region," writes Yadollah Javani, political head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the daily Kayhan, which has become the Iranian "Pravda".

General Javani was echoing remarks made by Ayatollah Khamenei in Hamadan a week earlier, in more Koranic language. "The entire Islamic Middle East is now a volatile and tangled trap, and will be set off by the smallest bit of silliness," Javani declares. "Indeed, the White House's 80 years of exclusive rule are likely to become 80 seconds of Hell."

Translations on the excellent MEMRI website (see Internet) flesh out such threats. Recent announcements include: the recruitment and training of thousands of Iranian volunteers for suicide attacks against U.S. and other targets in Iraq; the resumption of work on Iran's long-range Shihab 4 and 5 missiles, capable of reaching targets in Europe and the U.S.; and references to a "master plan" to eliminate "Anglo-Saxon civilization" with missiles and martyrdom, mentioning "29 sensitive targets".

These threats are not uttered from a cave in the Hindu Kush. They are official Iranian state announcements. The ability of the Western media to ignore them is astounding.

Current events are part of the continuing struggle to find the way to progress. Left and Right both believe they have the formula for a successful society.

In my opinion, first we must fight and defeat these mass murdering death worshipping Islamofacists. If we don't defeat them then nothing else matters. We won't be debating the finer points of gay rights or health care if we don't defeat this threat to civilization. Our first priority should be survival. Iran is a big part of the threat to civilization and must be defeated.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Hehehe. I love it. It's beginning to look like the Palestinians have seen what's happening in Iraq and they want the same opportunity the Iraq people are being offered. That is, the chance to live in a democratic state.

Yasser Arafat is a corrupt and despicable despot who is roundly cheered by the Europeans and the Democrats.

If a Democrat occupied the White House, Arafat would probably be the most frequent guest as he was during the Clinton years.

The European Union gives Arafat over a billion dollars a year to use as he sees fit and the result has been the Arafat and his closests friends are all multi-millionaires. How curious.

Amir Taheri says that the Palestinian people are currently engaged in a third intifada and this intifada has three aims:
The first is to reassert the power of the people against a leadership that consists largely of former exiles who had never really lived in Palestine.

Arafat and his cohort were imported into the Palestinian territories by Shimon Peres, then Israel's foreign minister, as a means of forestalling the rise of a local Palestinian leadership. Many members of the Arafat entourage are wealthy businessmen with investments in the Persian Gulf, Europe and the United States. None has put a penny in Gaza or the West Bank. Although many of them were born in Palestine, the Arafat-led nomenklatura are, in fact, a colonial elite backed by different foreign powers over the past four decades.

The second aim of the new intifada is to prevent the Islamists, notably Hamas and Islamic Jihad, from seizing control of the agenda at a time when Ariel Sharon's pledge to withdrawal from Gaza is perceived as sincere by most Palestinians.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad had threatened to fight to prevent the Sharon plan from going ahead. In other words, what matters to them is not the return of any territory to the Palestinians but the dream of destroying Israel.

The new intifada, however, represents people who wish to accelerate the Israeli withdrawal and are prepared to make Gaza work.

The new intifada's third aim is to tell the outside world to stop aiding and abetting the confederacy of rogues created by Arafat. The message is especially directed at the European Union, which has been giving Arafat almost a billion euros each year to play with as he pleases.
Read the whole thing. We're witnessing a historical change take place in the Middle East and the only thing that can halt this amazing transformation are the Democrats.

They're trying as hard as they can. Yasser, no doubt, has his fingers crossed.

WTF? Sandy Berger was found to have removed several copies of "classified terrorism documents" from the National Archives:
The Justice Department is investigating whether Berger committed a crime by removing from the National Archives copies of documents about the government's anti-terror efforts and notes that he took on those documents. Berger was reviewing the materials to help determine which Clinton administration documents to provide to the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
This is not just some allegation. He did it. He admits he did it. Several reports indicate that Berger stuffed the documents in his pants and in his socks? WTF? Now he's saying he "accidentally" took the papers.

Yeah, right. He was trying to hide something and this is all that he knew to do.

The other day it was reported that Linda Rondstadt had used her appearance in a Las Vegas casino auditorium to praise Michael Moore. Not surprisingly people went a bit nuts.

I can understand. People wanted to hear her sing "Blue Bayou" and not her political opinions. Furthermore, people were offended because it's been exhaustively reported that "Farenheit 9/11" is so wrong on the facts that it's nothing more than pure propaganda. I suspect the people who stormed out of the show were pissed because they had to listen to one of their favorite singers praising a man who hates this country and everything it stands for.

The misinformation Rondstadt is spreading is helping people who hate this country. She was basically telling the audience how much she admired a man who had directed a "documentary" that is wrong on the facts and hateful in it's production.

People have had it. They're tired of the Democrats hating this country and they're tired of the lies. I'm talking about the lies of Michael Moore, Joseph Wilson, Richard Clarke, and now Sandy Berger. They're tired of the anti-Americanism and they're tired of idiot celebrities espousing opinions when it's clear they don't have a fucking clue what they're talking about. I also believe that people are sick of paying their money to see a performer and then to have that performer use that time to advance a political agenda.

The Democrats clearly think it's in their best interests to be anti-American because they hope it will trickle down to the least common denominator who will convert those opinions they've been bombarded with into robotic hatred for President Bush.

I don't think they really know what they're doing. I also don't think they much care what happens to this country so long as they have their man in the White House.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Mark Steyn: "How a serial liar suckered Dems and the media"
First, contrary to what Wilson wrote in the New York Times, Saddam Hussein was trying to acquire uranium from Niger. In support of that proposition are a Senate report in Washington, Lord Butler's report in London, MI6, French intelligence, other European agencies -- and, as we now know, the CIA report, based on Joe Wilson's original briefing to them. Against that proposition is Joe Wilson's revised version of events for the Times.

This isn't difficult. In 1999, a senior Iraqi "trade" delegation went to Niger. Uranium accounts for 75 percent of Niger's exports. The rest is goats, cowpeas and onions. So who sends senior trade missions to Niger? Maybe Saddam dispatched his Baathist big shots all the way to the dusty capital of Niamy because he had a sudden yen for goat and onion stew with a side order of black-eyed peas, and Major Wanke, the then-president, had offered him a great three-for-one deal.

But that's not what Joe Wilson found. Major Wanke's prime minister, among others, told Ambassador Wilson that he believed Iraq wanted yellowcake. And Ambassador Wilson told the CIA. And the CIA's report agreed with the British and the Europeans that "Iraq was attempting to procure uranium from Africa."
Why did Joseph Wilson tell so many bald faced lies? Why was he so eager to lie and insist that there was no proof whatsoever that Saddam was trying to buy "yellowcake" uranium from Niger? Why would this man put his country at terrible risk for the sake of helping the Democrats win office?

Sadly, the only answer I can come up with is the same one I've been proposing all along: The Democrats are willing to do anything, including watching thousands or even millions of Americans die, to win political office. Nothing matters so much as the left holding the reigns of national office. They know what's best for everyone and by God if they have to seriously endanger millions of Americans to prove it then so be it. That's just the price we'll have to pay.