Sean's Blog

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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Wow. I know that the Democrats aren't in cahoots with terror, but they seem to be working together to achieve the same goals. Take this astonishing statement from the Kerry campaign:
While Kerry was relatively restrained in disputing Allawi's upbeat portrayal, some of his aides suggested that the Iraqi leader was simply doing the bidding of the Bush administration, which helped arrange his appointment in June.

"The last thing you want to be seen as is a puppet of the United States, and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips," said Joe Lockhart, a senior Kerry adviser.
John Kerry is so determined to see Iraq fail that his senior adviser is telling the Iraqi people that their leader is a puppet of the US. If there is anything the Iraqi people don't need to hear is that their leader is anyone's puppet. They would be honor bound to reject that leader on the mere accusation. But the Democrats don't care. They want to win the White House and they don't care what they have to do.

I'm simply stunned that any responsible American would go this far to wreck Iraq. The Democrats seem to understand that what is best for America is not good for them and if they have to side with terrorists to win the White House, well, then so be it.

Wow.

Are the Democrats and terror on the same page? It sure seems like it:
The terrorists' objective is to intimidate all countries allied with America. Make them bleed and tell them this is the price they pay for being a U.S. ally. The implication is obvious: Abandon America and buy your safety.

That is what the terrorists are saying. Why is the Kerry campaign saying the same thing? "John Kerry's campaign has warned Australians that the Howard Government's support for the US in Iraq has made them a bigger target for international terrorists." So reports the Weekend Australian (Sept. 18).

Americans Overseas for Kerry is the Kerry operation for winning the crucial votes of Americans living abroad (remember the Florida recount?), including more than 100,000 who live in Australia. Its leader was interviewed Sept. 16 by The Australian's Washington correspondent, Roy Eccleston. Asked if she believed the terrorist threat to Australians was now greater because of the support for President Bush, she replied: "I would have to say that," noting that "[t]he most recent attack was on the Australian embassy in Jakarta."

She said this of her country (and of the war that Australia is helping us with in Iraq): "[W]e are endangering the Australians now by this wanton disregard for international law and multilateral channels." Mark Latham could not have said it better. Nor could Jemaah Islamiah, the al Qaeda affiliate that killed nine people in the Jakarta bombing.
"She" is John Kerry's sister. She is trying to reinforce the idea it is necessary to appease terrorists to keep them from targeting countries. That's exactly what happened to Spain. And that's exactly the conclusion Islamic terrorists want the world to come to. Appease them or suffer their wrath.

Via Andrew Sullivan.

I didn't know about the independent film about Che Guevara, but apparently the leftists at the Sundance Film Festival gave the film a standing ovation.

This is one of the reasons people become "neo-conservatives." That is, people who used to be liberals for whatever reason and have now become conservatives. I think this began many years ago when the left started making heroes out of people like Stalin, Che and Castro. Those liberals saw the left apologizing for dictatorial mass murderers and they began to question their affiliation with any group that would do such a thing. That's when they slowly drift away from their party. That's what happened to Ronald Reagan. He was a Democrat. It's happened time and again. Now we have the supposed neo-conservative cabal trying to rule the world. Well, I would ask those leftists who deride those neo-conservatives to ask themselves: What changed? What made people who used to be liberals become new conservatives? What happened? Why have so many of your brothers-in-arms, so to speak, abandoned you and your principles?

I think Paul Berman says it best in the above linked to piece for Slate magazine:
The modern-day cult of Che blinds us not just to the past but also to the present. Right now a tremendous social struggle is taking place in Cuba. Dissident liberals have demanded fundamental human rights, and the dictatorship has rounded up all but one or two of the dissident leaders and sentenced them to many years in prison. Among those imprisoned leaders is an important Cuban poet and journalist, Raúl Rivero, who is serving a 20-year sentence. In the last couple of years the dissident movement has sprung up in yet another form in Cuba, as a campaign to establish independent libraries, free of state control; and state repression has fallen on this campaign, too.

These Cuban events have attracted the attention of a number of intellectuals and liberals around the world. Václav Havel has organized a campaign of solidarity with the Cuban dissidents and, together with Elena Bonner and other heroic liberals from the old Soviet bloc, has rushed to support the Cuban librarians. A group of American librarians has extended its solidarity to its Cuban colleagues, but, in order to do so, the American librarians have had to put up a fight within their own librarians' organization, where the Castro dictatorship still has a number of sympathizers.
That is liberals fighting leftists intellectually over Cuba. No wonder people become neo-conservatives.

When liberals realize that the ideology they thought was liberal is not so they are forced to rethink their allegiances. As it turns out the people who are supposed to care about the poor and oppressed don't really care about the poor and oppressed at all. Their whole life they romantically believed in liberalism only to see that liberalism is not the same as leftism.

Sadly, what we have today among the US and European liberals are not liberals at all. They are Castro and Che leftists at heart. They do believe they know what is best for you and the instinct for dictatorial control is still deeply rooted in them. They may not put people in front of firing squads or imprison people who disagree with them, but the instinct to force people to comply with government mandates is strong. They are so sure they know best that they are offended that anyone could possibly disagree with their obvious intellect. That's why the left insists George W. Bush is an idiot. He offends their sense of intellectual superiority.

The level of arrogance that accompanies leftism is simply astonishing.

The House Republicans have unveiled a sweeping proposal that would legislate the 9/11 Commission recommendations.

The Democrat response is typical:
"Instead of acting in a bipartisan manner, the Republican leadership is introducing a bill, written behind closed doors, that attempts to score partisan points and goes far outside the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California
Sounds like the Democrats are going to complain that this is comparable to the Patriot Act in that it's going to take away our rights. But wait. An unknown Democratic aide also says:
"This is a fairly weak bill," a Democratic aide said of the intelligence reform proposals. "It is seriously deficient from what the Sept. 11 commission wanted."

He said a counterterrorism center proposed by House Republicans would also be weaker than envisaged by the Sept. 11 commission or the proposed Senate legislation.
So, it's going to be both a massive attempt to take away our rights AND it's going to be seriously deficient and much weaker than what the 9/11 commission wanted.

Why am I not surprised.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Dick Morris opines in the New York Post that John Kerry has just lost the presidential election:
STUNG by criticism that his campaign lacks direction and focus, Sen. John Kerry has chosen to base his candidacy on an all-out assault on President Bush's record in Iraq — indeed, opted to move to the left decisively and attack the war head-on.
Liberals will cheer Kerry's new-found decisiveness, but it opens the way for Bush to deal him a counterstroke that can all but end this election and finish off Kerry for good.

Kerry's right flank is now gapingly vulnerable to a Bush attack. According to Scott Rasmussen's tracking polls, 30 to 40 percent of Kerry's voters disagree with his new leftward tilt on Iraq.

That is, even as the Democrat condemned the war in Iraq as a "diversion" from the central mission of the war on terror, a large minority of his own voters disagrees and sees it as "integral" to the battle to respond to 9/11.

Kerry has moved to the left, leaving about one-third of his vote behind. Bush can now move in and peel off Kerry's moderate supporters.
Years ago that 30 or 40 percent would have been called "Reagan Democrats." It looks like they will hand the Democrats another resounding defeat.

"Thank you America" The Iraqi interim Prime Minister thanks America:
Allawi had important messages for America, one being: "We are succeeding in Iraq," which received a resounding round of applause from lawmakers gathered in the House chamber.

"Every day we grow in strength and determination to defeat the terrorists and their barbarism," Allawi said, referring to the beheadings this week of two Americans.

"As we mourn these losses, we must not forget the progress we are making … we are fighting for freedom and democracy, ours and yours."

Allawi's second message, delivered directly from his people to all Americans, was:

"Thank you, America."

"We Iraqis know that Americans have made and continue to make enormous sacrifices to liberate Iraq, to assure Iraq's freedom," the prime minister said. "I have come here to thank you and to promise you that your sacrifices are not in vain."

He added that the "overwhelming majority" of Iraqis are grateful to be rid of Saddam and to build a better future. The others represent a "tiny minority" of the population "who will kill anyone, destroy anything to prevent Iraq and its people from achieving its goal."

But Iraqis will not be swayed, Allawi vowed.

"These killers may be just a tiny fraction of our 27 million population, but with their guns and their suicide bombs, to intimidate and frighten the people of Iraq — I can tell you today, they will not succeed," he added. "These murderers have no political program or cause other than to push our country back to tyranny."

Allawi noted that despite opposition to the Iraq invasion from major U.N. member countries, the United States forged ahead with its mission to depose of a ruthless dictator that ruled Iraq with an iron fist, and Iraq is grateful for it.

"My friends, today we are better off, you are better off and the world is better off, without Saddam Hussein," Allawi said. "Your decision to go into Iraq was not an easy one, but it was the right one."

I believe this is true and that the left will be simply astonished when Iraq evolves into a something that resembles a liberal democracy. An excerpt from Stategy Page:
September 23, 2004: While al Qaeda manages to set off one or more suicide bombs a day in Iraq, it finds itself losing the war it is waging. The bombs are killing mainly Iraqis, and the Iraqis have noticed this. Al Qaeda expects the Iraqi Islamic radicals to benefit from the bombing campaign. But the only Iraqi Islamic radicals that support al Qaeda are the Sunni Arab ones, and these are a minority of the Sunni Arab (20 percent of the population) minority. Moreover, most of the muscle, and money, for anti-government violence comes from Sunni Arab supporters of the Baath Party. Saddam Hussein led the Baath Party for over three decades. While Saddam is locked up, as are most of the senior Baath Party leaders, the thousands of thugs and enforcers that maintained Baath's control over Iraq are still out there. Many of these guys are still doing what they have always done; terrorizing Iraqis into supporting Baath, or at least not opposing it. Baath has cleverly shaped it's message to sound like a patriotic call to "expel foreign invaders." But most Iraqis are not fooled. Opinion polls consistently show that over 80 percent of the population wants nothing to do with Baath.
This is the reality of what is happening in Iraq. The people who are doing the killings are not part of some popular insurgency. They are the thugs and enforcers that Saddam had on his payroll and they are Iranians, Syrians and Saudis who want to establish a religious government. The Iraqi people don't support these people and the time is coming when the Iraqi government will be able to deal with them in the Iraqi way. Our job is to hold on until they soldiers and police are trained.

Well, well, well. Read it and weep lefties:
As I toured other parts of the country, the image that I was prepared for - that of a nation wracked by competing warlords and in danger of degenerating into a Colombia-style narcostate - never materialized. Undeniably, the drug trade is a serious concern (it now compromises about a third of the country's gross domestic product) and the slow pace of disarming the warlords is worrisome.

Over the last three years, however, most of the important militia leaders, like Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum of the Uzbek community in the country's north, have shed their battle fatigues for the business attire of the politicians they hope to become. It's also promising that some three million refugees have returned to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. Kabul, the capital, is now one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, with spectacular traffic jams and booming construction sites. And urban centers around the country are experiencing similar growth.

While two out of three Afghans cited security as their most pressing concern in a poll taken this summer by the International Republican Institute, four out of five respondents also said things are better than they were two years ago. Despite dire predictions from many Westerners, the presidential election, scheduled for Oct. 9, now looks promising. Ten million Afghans have registered to vote, far more than were anticipated, and almost half of those who have signed up are women. Indeed, one of the 18 candidates for president is a woman. Even in Kandahar, more then 60 percent of the population has registered to vote, while 45 percent have registered in Uruzgan Province, the birthplace of Mullah Omar. With these kinds of numbers registering, it seems possible that turnout will be higher than the one-third of eligible voters who have participated in recent American presidential elections.
One of the fastest growing cities in the world. No thanks to the left. If they'd had their way we wouldn't have went into Afghanistan. We would have all been put into sensitivity and diversity training so we could understand what our evil country did to deserve those unfortunate attacks of 9/11 by those poor misunderstood multicultural freedom fighters.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A US soldier was attacked after a Toby Keith concert. Apparently, he was hit from behind because he was wearing an Iraqi freedom T-shirt.

This is a must read:
Translation: In late 2002, while Mr. Annan was lobbying against U.S.-led removal of Saddam, he was running a U.N. program in which money meant for baby formula, among other goods, was very likely flowing into the pockets of Saddam and his sons and cronies.

Somehow, that was the kind of problem that Mr. Annan's office managed to miss, although according to a November 2002 statement to the Security Council by Oil-for-Food director Benon Sevan, U.N. staff in Iraq had by then made 1,187,487 total "observation visits" to ensure the integrity of Oil-for-Food. More than one million of those observation visits were devoted to checking on food and nutrition (and all of them were paid for out of the U.N. Secretariat's 2.2% oil sales commissions from Saddam).

In the same November 2002 statement, Mr. Sevan reported that "acute malnutrition" was still rampant among young children in Iraq. Mr. Sevan explained that although malnutrition had been halved since Oil-for-Food began (all this was based on Saddam's statistics), it was still double the rate of 1991--a situation Mr. Sevan himself described as "far from satisfactory." But the solution prescribed by Mr. Annan was not to spot and stop the kickbacks. Rather, while lamenting what he described in Nov. 2002 as the "dire funding shortfall" of Oil-for-Food, Mr. Annan's solution again and again was to urge more oil sales by Saddam. Which meant, most likely, more resources earmarked to feed babies but diverted to the Baghdad regime (and, by extension, more commissions for the U.N.).

It would be interesting for someone with full access to the contract details -- meaning, I suppose, the UN's own investigation into itself -- to total the scores of Oil-for-Food contracts for baby formula, weaning cereal, milk and so on (much of it bought from Security Council member nations Russia and France), and employ some pricing experts to fill in the rest of the numbers.

But what we know already is that Mr. Annan, whose Secretariat turned a blind eye to Saddam's food pricing scams, has never apologized for presiding over the biggest fraud in the history of relief. He has not used the word "illegal." The closest he's come has been to admit this past March, after much stonewalling, that there may have been quite a lot of "wrong-doing"--before turning over the whole mess over to a U.N. investigation that has since smothered all details with its own blanket of secrecy.

Mr. Annan is due to step down next year. If he wants to leave a legacy more auspicious than having presided over Oil-for-Fraud, he might want to devote his twilight time at the U.N. to mending a system in which a U.N. Secretary-General feels free to describe the overthrow of a murderous tyrant as "illegal," but no one at the top seems particularly bothered to have presided over that tyrant's theft of food from hungry children.
Kofi Annan and the United Nations make me sick.

More reasons to be encouraged about Iraq:
And it also feeds the arrogance of criminal elites who never believe they'll be held accountable for their crimes. Here's an example of that arrogance: In late August, Iraqi cops and Coalition forces cornered one Ahmad T. Tahir (also known as Mohammad Bogy) at the wake of a man that Tahir murdered. Tahir used to work for Saddam's regime (possibly as an "enforcer").

When the police arrived, Tahir tried to flee into his victim's house and even tried to hide behind the daughters and wife of his victim. But the women began slapping Tahir and shoved him toward the security troops, who then arrested him. The women told the police that "he (Tahir) didn't think we could do anything to him, and that's why he was here." In street slang, Mohammad Bogy was strutting his stuff because he believed the fear he instilled put him beyond any law.

Thug arrogance is an all-too common feature of the world's hard corners, where the criminals have dominated for so long they are certain their iron wills and unmitigated violence will eventually cow all opponents. Scholarly strategists describe war as a clash of wills. The world's Mohammad Bogys have a lot of willpower -- and all too often it only breaks when Free World troops jam a rifle barrel into the cold amazement of their eyes.

"The Shia are sheep," is an Iraqi Sunni refrain. "The (Baath holdout) Sunnis say they've been in charge and they intend to stay in charge (in Iraq)," a U.S. analyst told me in July 2004. While the Sunni resistance isn't tribal in any strict sense, "... it's like our tribe always beats your tribe. If they just continue to do what they've always done (i.e., murder wantonly), eventually they prevail. That's what they think will win this (civil conflict) for them."

However, every month that passes the new Iraqi central government gets stronger. Prime Minister Iyad Allawi (a Shia) has proven he isn't a sheep.
Yes, every month that passes the new Iraqi central government gets stronger. With each graduating class of soldiers and each new freshly trained police officer the central government gets stronger. We will reach a tipping point soone where the Iraqis begin to assert themselves. Our job now is to hold on until they reach that point.

the Iraqi interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi spoke the other day to Brit Hume on Fox News Channel:
Well, you recently had the example of Najaf. And Najaf now is back to normality, the people are going about doing their own business. People are going to the mosques, to the shrines, to restaurants, hotels, so on. The same applies to Samarra, which was even probably more than Fallujah, problems there. Likewise in Basra. There are -- the vast majority of Iraq is really calm, no problems. Samarra, Diwaniya (ph), Hilla, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Kut, Basra, Najaf, Karbala, Suleimaniya (ph), Erbil, Tahuk (ph), these are all calm places, and the government is in full control.

There are pockets in Fallujah, there are pockets in Ramadi which are shrinking -- in Ramadi. There are problems in an area called North (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and these are really a way to be solved. So really, overall, we definitely have been making progress, definitely are winning. We have been apprehending a lot of terrorists, a lot of insurgents. A lot of them were caught also in the combat zones in Fallujah, many of them were caught in Samarra also and also some are killed.

So we hope that as we progress -- you know, you have to understand that what is happening now in Iraq is not really an indigenous problem in Iraq.

It's international, it's global conflict with international terrorists.
It does seem to me that the "growing insurgency" the media referenced the past few weeks has grown much quieter.

I'm hopeful and confident that the Iraqi people will not squander the gift we have offered them.

I read the other day that a plane was diverted from Washington, D.C. to Maine so that authorities could remove the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens from the plane and eject him from the country.

Weird stuff that. Weird wild stuff. That's my Johnny Carson impression btw.

Israel's fence and other anti-terror measures has prompted The New Republic to declare the end to the intifada. Israel won. And to think that I actually heard leftists in Soapbox complain about that wall. They compared it to the Berlin wall and wanted it torn down. Why? So maybe the Palestinians could keep killing Israelis? I can't imagine how anyone could argue against that wall when it's clear that many lives have been saved as a result. But then again, the left is quite insane and understanding why they believe the things they believe is beyond rational or logical so I won't even try.

Today is the first day of fall. I've been sleeping with my windows open the past few nights and I have really been enjoying the pleasant chill in the air.

John Kerry is promising to nuance America's former allies into providing troops to replace our soldiers in Iraq. Somehow I don't think France and Germany will agree.

Uh oh. Just when I thought Hurricane Jeanne was going to go out to sea and away from Florida some computer models suggest it could hit Florida as early as this weekend.

At least this isn't a very powerful hurricane. For now.

This is major.

I've been telling the leftists in my favorite chat room, Soapbox, that President Bush's vision has been to effect a liberalization of the Middle East. He is trying to bring liberal democracy to the Middle East and Iraq was the first, best, choice in that process. The reason he chose this time is obviously what happened on September 11, 2001 and the reason he chose Iraq is because Iraq had given the US umpteen reasons to overthrown the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein. He had gassed his own people and the Iranians. He had invaded two of his neighbors. He had agreed as a condition to end the first Gulf War to prove to the world that he'd gotten rid of his WMD's and yet time and again he failed to comply with UN Security Council resolutions ordering him to stop obstructing and compl. He had slaughtered his own people by the tens of thousands. And finally, given 9/11, we realized that playing games with this madman was no longer an option.

That is why we took out Saddam and the left has been outraged ever since. To hear them tell it, we have been wasting our time and no good could ever come from that war.

Well, finally we get to my whole point. The link at the top of this post is from Andrew Sullivan. He excerpts a piece from Stratfor, a pay site that I can't afford, that says that Syria is withdrawing from Lebanon in what appears to be a change in attitude by Damascus given what happened next door in Iraq.

Now think about the things that have been happening in that region. Saddam is gone. The mullahs in Iran are on their last legs as the young people in that country demand liberal democracy or at least the Iranian version of liberal democracy, Khadafy in Lybia has come clean about his nuclear weapons programs, and Syria is getting out of Lebanon.

I'd say all the above is a step in the right direction and it must be noted that none of it would have happened if the left has been successful in keeping Saddam in power.

Going to war with Iraq was the right thing to do and I believe that we will continue to see progress to a more liberal and tolerant Middle East if we don't lose our nerve.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I noticed a Washington Post piece that says that military commanders are waiting for the Iraqi army to come up to speed to take control of their country and most notably Fallujah:
"It doesn't do any good for us to go in and clean it up if it's a pure United States or coalition operation," said Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, the top commander responsible for Fallujah and the rest of western Iraq. "We need Iraqi security forces with us. We need to be side by side when we move in, so that when it is said and done, when you open your door the next day and look out, there's an Iraqi policeman, an Iraqi National Guardsman, an Iraqi soldier on your street."

Sattler's predecessor, Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, who relinquished his command earlier this month, insisted that "the Marines we have there now could crush the city and be done with business in four days."

"But that's not what we're going to do," Conway said. Since the handover of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government in late June, he added, Fallujah "is an Iraqi problem. If there is an attack on the anti-Iraqi forces that inhabit the city, it will be done almost exclusively by Iraqis."
That's exactly what must happen. It does no good for us to do the fighting. We can't force the Iraqi people to do anything. They must take this on and if they ask for our help I'm sure we'll give it. They must take the initiative. If they don't, then this has all been for nothing and I'd hate to consider that possibility.

Monday, September 20, 2004

CBS apologizes for reporting fraudulent memos:
Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question—and their source—vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome.

Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where—if I knew then what I know now—I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.

Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.

I noticed the other day that Andrew Sullivan scoffed at Mark Steyn's latest piece for the English paper, The Telegraph. He made it sound as if Steyn had completely lost his mind with declarations that Iraq was at peace and all was well.

I just read the article in question and I didn't get that impression at all. What's happening is thatSullivan wants President Bush to lose so badly that he gets excited when anyone makes any defense of the situation in Iraq.

See, Sullivan is gay and he is furiously outraged at President Bush for opposing gay marriage. Sullivan's hatred of Bush is wrapped up in that one issue. He is prepared to support John Kerry to be president for that reason and that reason alone. Global issues be damned, Sullivan wants gay rights to marry. Never mind that if we don't end Islamofacist terror that we won't even be debating gay marriage. Never mind that.

In my opinion, if we don't win this war against the Islamofacists then we certainly won't be debating the finer points of gay marriage or health care. This fight trumps every other issue. It must come first and I just wish the Sullivan would understand that. We can't have those other debates if Islamic terrorists are slaughtering thousands of people. We must fight and win this first and it's useless to debate gay marriage (which the Islamofacists oppose) until we have defeated the threat to the freedom to have that debate.

But Sullivan doesn't care. Everything he believes is clouded by that one issue. He will oppose whoever opposes that issue and never mind the long term consequences.

Sullivan just wants Bush to lose because President Bush opposes gay marriage. That's the only reason no matter what other arguments he makes. Gay marriage matters more to Sullivan than anything else. I wish Andrew would just say that and get it out in the open.

I laughed out loud when I read this in a piece by Mark Steyn:
Dan's been play-acting at being a reporter for so many years now -- the suspenders, the loosened tie, and all the other stuff that would look great if he were auditioning for a cheesy dinner-theater revival of ''The Front Page''; the over-the-top intros: ''Bob Schieffer, one of the best hard-nosed reporters in the business, has been working his sources. What have you managed to uncover for us, Bob?'', after which Bob reads out a DNC press release.
Mark Steyn is a brilliant editorialist.

Yes! My Carolina Panthers (that's right, they're mine!) whooped up on the Kansas City Chiefs IN Kansas City yesterday.

I'm so proud of them. Everyone picked KC to win the game, but my Panthers showed the same intestinal fortitude they've shown for many years now. They might not have always been good, but they have always played hard and gave 100%.

Go Panthers!

I can't stand Kofi Annan and The Opinion Journal does a great job of explaining why:
Last we checked, U.N. chief Kofi Annan was promising to help the U.S. rebuild Iraq. But pressed by a BBC interviewer last week, the Secretary-General stated flat out that the liberation of Iraq was "illegal" and a violation of the U.N. Charter. He had already opined that "there should have been a second resolution" authorizing the invasion, and that "I hope we do not see another Iraq-type operation for a long time."

These thoughts could certainly stand a little parsing. Mr. Annan seems to be saying that the only way force can be used legitimately in the modern world is with the unanimous permission of the U.N. Security Council. So perhaps we should remind him of some recent history.

For example, there was that splendidly legitimate U.N. operation in Bosnia, where its blue-helmeted peacekeepers watched with indifference as Serbian soldiers rounded up for slaughter thousands of Muslim men in the so-called U.N. "safe haven" of Srebrenica. Or Rwanda in 1994, where Mr. Annan--then head of the U.N. peacekeeping office--shrugged off panicked warning calls from the U.N. commander on the ground, thereby allowing the slaughter of 800,000.

And if liberating Iraq was wrong, Mr. Annan must also believe it was wrong for NATO to have intervened in Kosovo, where Russia once again prevented Security Council unanimity. How about the recent French intervention in the Ivory Coast, which the Security Council got around to blessing only after it was a fait accompli? And notwithstanding the latest U.N. promises, what if Gallic and Chinese oil interests block international action in Sudan, allowing the continued attacks on Darfurians? It would appear, on this evidence, that Security Council unanimity isn't exactly the gold standard of legitimacy, much less of morality.

And what's this business about a "second" Iraq resolution? U.N. Resolution 1441 was the 17th resolution demanding that Saddam verifiably disarm, behave with some modicum of respect for the rights of his own citizens, and otherwise comply with conditions of the ceasefire following the end of the 1991 Gulf War. From firing at American planes patrolling the no-fly zones, to widespread sanctions busting, to a banned long-range missile program, the Iraqi dictator was in undeniable breach in March 2003 of the terms under which his regime was spared back in 1991. In other words, there was never any legal need for even Resolution 1441.
The United Nations is a despicable organization.