Sean's Blog

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Saturday, September 18, 2004

Via Belmont Club.

I've just discovered a great new weblog called Liberating Iraq.

This sort of positive, hopeful reporting absolutely makes the left crazy. They want us all to feel as defeated and miserable as they do. That seems to be all the left has to offer us. The are campaigning from the basis that all is lost and we shouldn't have tried to establish a democratic state in the Middle East so that we could effect a transformation of the most despotic region of the world. That we shouldn't even try to do great things because we may fail.

They are on the wrong side of history. Again.

The more I think about it, the more I want to go on record and predict the launch of a major Iraqi government offensive in the next few weeks to fight lawlessness and the insurgency in Iraq as a sort of PR moved aimed at the American people.

They know their very survival and future as a democratic state is in jeopardy if we pull out. They should know that we want to help them and the best way to guarantee that help is for us to see signficant improvement in the ability of the Iraqi government to fight and win their own battles against the insurgents.

I believe they understand that a John Kerry presidency would be disaster for their country and that a George Bush win in November is critical. Now, I believe Bush is going to win anyway, but the Iraqi government can't risk that. They will have to do something to prove that Bush's strategy in Iraq is paying significant dividends. They will have to help get Bush elected if they expect our aid to continue. I'm not saying Bush has decided this, I'm saying that this must be in the minds of the leaders of Iraq. They must feel the pressure to reassure Americans and the best way they could do that would be to make some headlines about taking control of their own country with the help of the US military, of course.

Anyway, that's my prediction. Let's see if anything happens.

Via Captain's Quarters

An excerpt of a must read letter from a Marine Corp Major writing from Baghdad:
So, you may hear analysts and prognosticators on CNN, ABC and the like in the next few days talking about how bleak the situation is here in Iraq, but from where I sit, it’s looking significantly better now than when I got here. The momentum is moving in our favor, and all Americans need to know that, so please, please, pass this on to those who care and will pass it on to others. It is very demoralizing for us here in uniform to read & hear such negativity in our press.
I trust our individual soldiers who are in Iraq more than I do any reporter from The New York Times or Washington Post to tell me what's going on. While the overall picture does look bleak, this man is very encouraged and reports on two major successes in Samara and Najaf that don't seem to be getting any attention from MSM (mainstream media).

If I relied on the MSM to tell me what was happening in Iraq I would be very discouraged and distraught. But I don't and thank goodness I don't. Very often these people have a political agenda and no matter what they say their reporting reflects that agenda whether consciously or subconsciously.

Via Tim Blair.

Jim Treacher was first to break the queen-of-the-space-unicorn-gate controversy. My apologies for not making that clear.

Tim Blair is just so damn funny!

The other day, John Kerry appeared before the National Guard Association. Here's an excerpt from The Best of the Web's article the speech Kerry gave:
Two days ago, the president stood right where I'm standing and did not even acknowledge that more than 1,000 men and women have lost their lives in Iraq. He did not tell you that with each passing day, we're seeing more chaos, more violence, more indiscriminate killings. He did not tell you that with each passing week, our enemies are getting bolder--that Pentagon officials report that entire regions of Iraq are now in the hands of terrorists and extremists. He did not tell you that with each passing month, stability and security seem farther and farther away.

He did not tell you any of this, even though--as the country learned today in the New York Times--his own intelligence officials have warned him for weeks that the mission in Iraq is in serious trouble.
Yes it probably is true that the security situation in Iraq is deteriorating, but I want to take the time to explain what is going on.

The transition to Iraqi rule is taking place. The Iraqi army, police, and border security forces are being trained as we speak. As the US and Iraqi's wait for the army to grow stronger through proper training and supply, the insurgency seems to be growing more wildly. The appearance would be that the country is spinning out of control, but what is happening is that the Iraqi government is preparing it's forces and it's people for the final prolonged assault on the insurgency and the general lawlessness that pervades the country. They are taking the time to do all the behind the scenes work of recruitment and training.

It's the much the same with the power outages in the immediate aftermath of the war. Oh all we heard from the media was how the power was out and the Iraqi people were all upset. When's the last time you heard that power was higher than pre-war levels, that is was distributed fairly to rich and poor, and that each week more and more generators were coming online so that soon the Iraqi people will have 24 hour a day power? Haven't heard that? I'm so surprised!

The bottom line is that the Iraqi government and the US government agree that the Iraqis must fight this insurgency. We can't do it for them. So now the army is growing stronger. They are healing their wounds from the recent defeat by the US army and the years of neglect from Saddam Hussein. A new patriotic fighting spirit will have to take hold in the new Iraqi army before they can stand up and fight the insurgency. You don't put a gun in someone's hand and tell them to go shoot someone. Training takes time and the Iraqi government is doing that necessary work quietly until one day, perhaps soon, the Iraqi army launches a major offensive against the various insurgency groups in their country. My prediction is that each insurgency group will disappear one by one and the insurgency will fall from the media spotlight much as the power shortage has fallen from the media spotlight.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Damn, the southeast United States has seen three major hurricanes hit in the last three weeks. Ivan is the latest.

Hopefully Hurricane Jeanne will miss the region and move into the open Atlantic ocean.

I love this from Opinion Journal:
Mr. Rather asserted that the lack of denial was itself evidence of the essential truth of his findings. The questions raised by his reporting, he said, have remained unanswered by the Bush administration: Did Mr. Bush get preferential treatment for the Texas Air National Guard? Was then-Lieutenant Bush suspended for failing to perform up to Texas and Air Guard standards? Did then-Lieutenant Bush refuse a direct order from his military superior to take a required examination?

"It's never been fully, completely denied by the Bush-Cheney campaign or even the White House that he was suspended for meeting the standards of the Air Force or that he didn't show up for a physical," he said. "The longer we go without a denial of such things--this story is true.' "
Well, Dan Rather hasn't denied that he is queen of the space unicorns, but that doesn't mean that story is true.
Hehehe. James Taranto cracks me up.

Ouch. Ann Coulter gives Kitty Kelly a taste of her own medicine:
The New York Times review blamed Kelley's gossip mongering on "a cultural climate in which gossip and innuendo thrive on the internet." Kelley has been writing these books for decades, so apparently, like the Texas Air National Guard, Kelley was on the internet – and being influenced by it – back in the '70s. As I remember it, for the past few years it has been the Internet that keeps dissecting and discrediting the gossip and innuendo that the major media put out.

Curiously, all this comes at the precise moment that speculation is at a fever pitch about whether Kitty Kelley is in the advanced stages of syphilis. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Approximately 3 percent to 7 percent of persons with untreated syphilis develop neurosyphilis, a sometimes serious disorder of the nervous system."

Dr. Jonathan Zenilman, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, has found there is an "inter-relationship" between STDs and truck routes in Baltimore. I'm not at liberty to reveal the names of my sources, but there are three or four highly placed individuals in the publishing industry who say Miss Kelley or someone who closely resembles her is a habitue of truck routes in Baltimore.

While opinions differ as to whether Miss Kelley's behavior can be explained by syphilis or some other STD, people who went to Harvard – and Harvard is one of the top universities in the nation – say her path is consistent with someone in the advanced stages.

Amid the swirling dispute over her STDs, there is only one way for Kelley to address this issue: Release her medical records. As someone who would like to be thought of as her friend said anonymously: "For your own good, Ms. Kelley, I would get those medical records out yesterday." This doesn't have to be public. She may release her medical records to me, or if she'd be more comfortable, to my brothers.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

David Brooks in the NY Times has an excellent article about the two schools of thought on how to proceed in Iraq: The gradualist approach versus the confrontalitionists. Brooks:
The gradualists argue that it would be crazy to rush into terrorist-controlled cities and try to clean them out with massive force because the initial attack would be so bloody there'd be a debilitating political backlash.

The terrorists would fight as long as there were heart-wrenching scenes of dead children on satellite TV, then would melt away to fight another day. And if the U.S. did take control of, say, a newly destroyed Falluja, we would find that we didn't have enough troops to control the city and still hunt down terrorists elsewhere. We'd end up abandoning the city (as we have other places), and the terrorists would just take control again. We'd be back where we started.

There is a reason, the gradualists point out, that counterinsurgency wars have tended to take a decade or more. They can be won only with slow, steady pressure. The better course, they continue, is to allow some time to train and build up Iraq's own security forces, and allow some time for the interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi, to build up a base of anti-insurgent political support. The lesson of Vietnam is that you can't win these wars via military means. You have to build a political structure that organizes public support and mix it with military might.
Later in the article we see the confrontationalist view:
The confrontationalists can't believe the Bush folks, of all people, are waging a sensitive war on terror. By moving so slowly, the U.S. is allowing terror armies to thrive and grow. With U.S. acquiescence, fascists are allowed to preen, terrorize and entrench themselves.

Moreover, they continue, there's no reason to think the Najaf model will work in Sunni cities, where we don't understand and can't exploit the local rifts, where there is no Sistani figure to come in at crucial moments.

In Sunni cities, the so-called moderates may make deals with Allawi, but they break them just as quickly - or else are beheaded by the terrorists. Members of the Falluja Brigade, who were supposed to take the city from the terrorists, switched over and joined the other side.

The gradualist approach, the confrontationalists conclude, has allowed terror to thrive. Now there are about 100 attacks a day. U.S. troops find themselves engaged in a modulated half-war in which they engage the enemy enough to suffer casualties, but not enough to win. The Iraqis are demoralized because it doesn't look as if the country will be pacified in time for full national elections, and because without security there can be no economic development - only more misery and more terror. U.S. troops are demoralized because if they are going to hit the enemy, they want to hit the enemy hard.
I believe the gradualist approach is better. We must force the Iraqi people to fight this war. We can defend what we've achieved thus far until their security forces are trained and armed, but for us to fight this war is useless. They must do it themselves.

I'm not sure this means anything, but Drudge features a poll survey that shows that John Kerry's favorable ratings at 36%. That's down 18 points in six months. Kerry is beaten in favorability ratings by John Ashcroft (yes, the left's vision of Satan himself beats Kerry in favorability ratings), Jesse Jackson, and Vladimir Putin.

That can't give the Dems a whole lot of confidence.

Via Andrew Sullivan.

Just for you Connie Sue cause I know how you like bunnies. Especially seeing them get eaten by sharks, hehehehe. I give you: Jaws in 30 seconds (and reenacted by bunnies)

Monday, September 13, 2004

Wow. If you're like me and you grew up without cable news you're skeptical of predictions of "The End of Network News" as featured in The Washington Post and elsewhere.

I remember watching Walter Cronkite each night with my family and to now hear that people are calling this the beginning of the end for network news is very surprising. I shouldn't be too surprised though. Time marches on and what was true yesterday is not true today. Things change. That's life.

It doesn't make me sad, but it does make me remember just how old I am.

William Safire reviews the history of the CBS forgery mess.

This is must reading for anyone who doesn't have a clue what is going on.

I hope so:
When the Islamist terrorists, in their incomprehensible barbarity, slaughtered hundreds of little Russian schoolchildren in the city of Beslan, they may have inadvertently aroused the civilized world from its current lethargy and denial. One would have thought that Osama bin Laden's decade-long trail of mass murder and mayhem throughout the four corners of the world would have convinced even the indolent and myopic that civilization is in a war to the death with Islamist terrorism. But even the unspeakable horrors of September 11 have been rationalized away by many Muslims and Europeans, in particular — and by a disturbing number of Americans. Finally, if only incipiently, for most people the truth is becoming impossible to deny. Decent Muslims, both in the Middle East and in the West, have begun to quietly — but publicly — ask whether there is a terrible moral sickness spreading amongst many of their coreligionists. French and German mothers and fathers join increasing numbers of American parents in trembling for their own sons and daughters as they saw — and continue to see in their minds' eyes — the rows of little bloodied corpses and weeping, furious parents in the shattered Russian city of Beslan.

The really big news going around the blog world is the revelation that CBS is the lap dog of the Democrats. I know. It's stunning that a MSM outlet would be biased for the Democrats but the evidence is clear. That's me being sarcastic.

Glenn Reynolds is all over this story and features link after link after link of analysis from other MSM outlets that are piling on poor ol' Dan Rather and CBS. Damn, I'd hate to be them right now.

Thank God football is back. It's the only sport I watch anymore. Tonight, my favorite team, The Carolina Panters, play the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

Football. Damn, I missed it.

I love Arthur Chrenkoff's roundup of good news from Iraq. I especially like the way he puts it when he says:
For the media, the past two weeks in Iraq have not been good: more hostages taken and executed, continuing sabotage of oil infrastructure, military clashes and terror attacks, and the U.S. death toll reaching 1,000. But a lot more has been happening in Iraq every day--the steady progress towards normality that does not make for snappy headlines and exciting news footage. The Arabs have an old saying: "The dogs bark, but the caravan is moving on." The Iraqi caravan is certainly on the move, and here are some of the stories you probably didn't hear amid all the barking.
No one can deny that Iraq is still in turmoil, but there are plenty of signs that Iraq will one day be the greatest Arab democracy the world has ever seen. No matter how the Democrats and world left fights to prevent it from happening.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

I'm sorry. I should have made some sort of announcement about my absence. I'm back. I don't care about numbers, but I do care about the people who care about me.

I will resume posting Monday, September 13th.

Forgive me.