Sean's Blog

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Friday, October 01, 2004

And now for something completely different.

Is anyone paying attention to Iran? The young people in that country are skirmishing with the government. The mullahs days are numbered.

The connection between Iraq and Iran is critical. With an emerging democracy right next door it's not inconceivable for Iran to simply fold under the pressure from their young people for reform and the establishment of at least an Islamic democracy. Is it entirely inconceivable that the Middle East is in the midst of a Great Reformation? A political reformation that brings liberalism, tolerance (compared to what we have now), and freedom to the most volatile region of the world? Could it be that President Bush's overall Mid East strategy is more successful than the left will ever admit? Think about it. Libya has given up it's nuclear weapons program, Iraq is on the road to democracy, Syria is ending it's Lebanon occupation, and Iran's fundamentalist Islamic government is under seige. These are heady days and only the most partisan Democrat would deny the transformation that is taking place in the Middle East. Or worse, only the most partisan Democrat would actively oppose what's happening. Sadly, that's the grand strategy of the Democratic Party today. They seek power by having the forces of oppression prove that President Bush's strategy is a losing proposition. The only thing that matters is for Democrats to have power. It seems they'd rather watch the Mid East in flames than for a Republican president to succeed in transforming that region

National Review features a scorecard of sorts for the debate last night. Four people were chosen. Two of the people were definitely Republicans so I won't even excerpt their comments. The other two people were Ed Kilgore, the policy director of the Democratic Leadership Council, and Peter Robinson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and author of How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life. First, here's Kilgore's bottom line:
1.The smirk is back; astoundingly, Bush won the Al Gore Debate Look-a-like Contest.

2. The debate revolved around Iraq, which is not good for the president.

3. Whoever told Bush that "mixed messages" is more effective than "flip-flop" should be fired; it was easy for Kerry to turn that one around.

4. Round one: Bush's turf, Bush's rules, Bush with less to lose, but he did.
That's from the policy director of the Democratic Leadership Council. Next I have Robinson's remarks:
Who won? Nobody. To firm up his lead, ensuring a victory, Bush needed to equal or overmaster Kerry, demonstrating a sense of ease and relaxation at the lectern, while explaining the end game in Iraq — making clear, in other words, how he's going to get us out. He did neither. Kerry, trailing in the polls for three weeks now, needed to make a convincing case that he could do a better job than the incumbent. Instead he did little but list Bush's mistakes.

Because Kerry proved articulate — and because the press needs a new story — the headlines will all say that the race is tightening. Maybe. But I suspect Bush will retain his lead. Whereas in this first debate Kerry displayed the fox-like qualities of his mind — he knows a little about a lot — Bush proved by contrast that he is a Reagan-like hedgehog. Bush may know less than Kerry, but what he knows is central, and he knows it well. As Bush himself put it, "I want to tell Americans, you'd better have a president who chases their terrorists down."

Indeed we had — and voters know it.
I stand by my appraisal, but it's clear that the leftists in Soapbox were irrationally exuberant. To steal a phrase.

I was in my favorite chat room last night while listening to the debate in the background. The blow by blow responses from the chatters was interesting and several people helped reinforce their candidates positions.

Then the debate ended and I have to say that the Democrats in that room were irrationally excited about how well their man did. They whooped and proclaimed that Kerry had completely obliterated Bush. Their enthusiasm was totally out of whack with the reality of the debate and anytime anyone made the point that Kerry didn't do nearly as well as they were saying the Democrats became especially defensive, vicious, and resentful. I expressed my opinions on several occassion without foul language or derision and I soon found myself being called names and accused of being downright evil for having the temerity to disagree with their views.

This is typical of the Soapbox. Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of foul language and verbal abuse towards those who disagree with them. But the names I was called and the scorn that was heaped on me was uncalled for. Needless to say, I wasn't anyone's whipping boy and I think I actually gave better than I took.

The Democrats were in a frenzy last night and it was without a basis in reality. I expect the emotions of this campaign season to last until Election Day. When the dust settles I suspect that a lot of the hate and vitriol from the left will dissipate. Mostly because they will have lost and seen for themeselves that the cocoon of hate they've put up around themselves isn't inhabited by a majority of Americans. Right now they think it is.

The first presidential debate of the 2004 election year took place and I have to say that John Kerry did very well. Anything short of that would have meant the utter collapse of his campaign so the fact that he did well means that he is still a viable candidate.

I want to give credit where credit is due. John Kerry did better than expected. I also want to be honest about President Bush. He simply did not do as well as expected.

I have to say that John Kerry won this debate but only because the expectations for him were so low and the expectations for Bush were so high. If I were completely uninformed about events and tuned in last night to watch the debate I'd probably say it was a draw. But I know that Bush didn't perform as well as he should have so I have to give this debate to Kerry. I don't think the debate changed many voter's minds, but the individuals who support each candidate were probably more and less encouraged by last nights debate. That should help Kerry when it comes time to get his voters out to the polls. They were demoralized before the debate last night and if he continues to do well they will be highly motivated come election day.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Still more headaches for leftists opposed to the liberalization and democratization of the Middle East:
Reports over the past 24 - 48 hours via several important information services such as SMCCDI, Peykeiran, Zagros and direct email reports and phone calls from Iranian citizens is beginning to shine light on what at this time looks to be country-wide fighting and quickly escalating into what could potentially become a freedom revolution.

Several independent citizen sources have reported the formation of significant crowds throughout the country, and have heard many loud explosions and gun shots, including in the cities of Tehran, Esfahan, and Shiraz.

SMCCDI and Peykeiran have both reported intense battles between freedom-loving Iranian citizens and the regime's fanatical militias in the village of Meeyan Do Ab. Both sources are reporting many deaths and injuries both to the villagers and regime's forces.

In the past week and recent days, many regional commanders and leaders of the regime's militias have been targeted and killed along with many of their militiamen.

Initial reports from Iranian online news sources as well as from western satellite news media are reporting intense fighting throughout Iran, and report that such fighting is increasing at a constant rate.

On September 28th, SMCCDI reported that in Iran's main southern port of Bandar-Abbas located by the Hormoz Strait on the Persian Gulf, heavy fighting between Elite commandos of the Pasdaran Corp and Iranian residents who were protesting the regime's murder of three fishermen broke out. Angry residents attacked several public buildings as well as regime vehicles with incendiary devices.
The American and world left must be near suicide at the thoughts of freedom and liberty for the people of the Middle East.

Hehehehe. I love it.

God Bless Tony Blair and God Bless the United Kingdom. I wouldn't have supported the mans domestic policies, but Tony Blair is the most eloquent, most well-spoken, most heartening defender of western values since Ronald Reagan. Listen to the man:
It's simply that I believe democracy there means security here; and that if I don't care and act on this terrorist threat, then the day will come when all our good work on the issues that decide people's lives will be undone because the stability on which our economy, in an era of globaliaation, depends, will vanish. . . .

Military action will be futile unless we address the conditions in which this terrorism breeds and the causes it preys upon.

That is why it is worth staying the course to bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, because then people the world over will see that this is not and has never been some new war of religion; but the oldest struggle humankind knows, between liberty or oppression, tolerance

or hate; between government by terror or by the rule of law. . . .
What a brilliant speaker. I appreciate President Bush's belief that he is doing the right thing, but Tony Blair is able to articulate it.

Read the whole thing.

Wow. Did the French Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, really say this:
Add to this the recent bizarre phrase from French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin. The head of the Figaro press group went to see him about the kidnapping of two French journalists in Iraq; Raffarin assured him they would soon be freed, reportedly saying, "The Iraqi insurgents are our best allies."

In plain language, this means that, in the struggle in Iraq, Raffarin does not see France on the side of its NATO allies — the U.S., Britain, Italy and Denmark among others — but on the side of the "insurgents."
If he did indeed say that is there any reason left, at all, to consider France our ally? I find that remarkable and extraordinary.

France is playing a very dangerous game.

Let the space tourism begin:
The first private manned rocket reached space Wednesday after an unexpectedly bumpy ride in a bid to earn a $10 million prize.

During its 81-minute flight, SpaceShipOne (search) climbed to an unofficial altitude of more than 330,000 feet — about 2,000 feet above its target altitude of 62 miles
I wouldn't take a trip aboard a commercial provider anytime soon, but it's clear that someday people will be paying large sums of money to visit outer space.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Yes! Day by day the Iraqi armed forces and police grow in strength. With each passing day the Iraqi federal government gets stronger and stronger. With each passing day the world and American left are that much closer to being embarrassed and humiliated.

The left has been fighting this with every weapon at their disposal and the above linked to piece in the Washington Post has got to be just completely devastating. They have tried very hard to prevent a liberal, tolerant, and democratic Iraq from emerging, but to no avail.

I want to excerpt part of the report so that I will have it when the link goes bad:
The future undoubtedly will be full of difficulties, especially in places such as Fallujah. We must expect setbacks and recognize that not every soldier or policeman we help train will be equal to the challenges ahead.

Nonetheless, there are reasons for optimism. Today approximately 164,000 Iraqi police and soldiers (of which about 100,000 are trained and equipped) and an additional 74,000 facility protection forces are performing a wide variety of security missions. Equipment is being delivered. Training is on track and increasing in capacity. Infrastructure is being repaired. Command and control structures and institutions are being reestablished.

Most important, Iraqi security forces are in the fight -- so much so that they are suffering substantial casualties as they take on more and more of the burdens to achieve security in their country. Since Jan. 1 more than 700 Iraqi security force members have been killed, and hundreds of Iraqis seeking to volunteer for the police and military have been killed as well.

Six battalions of the Iraqi regular army and the Iraqi Intervention Force are now conducting operations. Two of these battalions, along with the Iraqi commando battalion, the counterterrorist force, two Iraqi National Guard battalions and thousands of policemen recently contributed to successful operations in Najaf. Their readiness to enter and clear the Imam Ali shrine was undoubtedly a key factor in enabling Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani to persuade members of the Mahdi militia to lay down their arms and leave the shrine.

In another highly successful operation several days ago, the Iraqi counterterrorist force conducted early-morning raids in Najaf that resulted in the capture of several senior lieutenants and 40 other members of that militia, and the seizure of enough weapons to fill nearly four 7 1/2-ton dump trucks.

Within the next 60 days, six more regular army and six additional Intervention Force battalions will become operational. Nine more regular army battalions will complete training in January, in time to help with security missions during the Iraqi elections at the end of that month.

Iraqi National Guard battalions have also been active in recent months. Some 40 of the 45 existing battalions -- generally all except those in the Fallujah-Ramadi area -- are conducting operations on a daily basis, most alongside coalition forces, but many independently. Progress has also been made in police training. In the past week alone, some 1,100 graduated from the basic policing course and five specialty courses. By early spring, nine academies in Iraq and one in Jordan will be graduating a total of 5,000 police each month from the eight-week course, which stresses patrolling and investigative skills, substantive and procedural legal knowledge, and proper use of force and weaponry, as well as pride in the profession and adherence to the police code of conduct.
This has got to be a nightmare for the left. Seeing Iraq grow stronger with each passing day and watching the Iraqi people step forward and fight for their country has got to be terribly demoralizing for the world and American left. They want Iraq to fail so badly. Sadly for them though, Iraq is gathering strength and preparing for the day when it can defend itself.

Monday, September 27, 2004

The Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal once again features another of Arthur Chrenkoff's, "Good News From Iraq."

I know most people don't know about the things that are happening in Iraq, but Chrenkoff does try.

I still say the left will be simply stunned when Iraq turns out to be the jewel of the Middle East. They'll wonder, "How did this happen? The media assured us that Iraq was a complete and total disaster. They all said so!"

No doubt they'll give the credit to the United Nations somehow.

IraqPundit comments on Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's visit to the US:
Maureen Dowd in the New York Times compared Bush and Allawi to puppets. Dowd writes "It's hilarious that the Republicans have trotted out Mr. Allawi as an objective analyst of the state of conditions in Iraq when he's the administration's handpicked guy and has as much riding on putting the chaos in a sunny light as they do."

This is a laughably parochial reaction. Does Dowd think that Allawi is only talking to her and her ilk? Iraqis know very well that Allawi was flown to the United States for U.S. election purposes. What Dowd forgets is that Allawi knew that Iraqis too were listening to his speech. As a leader, he has to sound positive for his own people about the future of the country. Morale is vitally important to the nation's future.
The left doesn't care. That's what the Iraqi people need to understand. The Iraqi people are meaningless to the larger debate. The left wants to say, "See, multilateralism and diplomacy was the correct path to take vis a vis Iraq."

The left would have preferred United Nations style diplomacy interminably. The right said, "Enough of that meaningless bullshit! It's time to make a serious change." And the reason for this belief? September 11, 2001.

Somebody tell John Kerry that the French and Germans refuse to send troops to Iraq even if he is elected.

That's the best news Iraq has had in a year.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Power Line Blog has the most unbelievable story. A reporter for the Associate Press has written a hit piece on the Bush campaign for the Kerry campaign and the AP has faithfully sent the story to newspapers all over the country. Go read the account and then send your letters of complaint to the Associated Press at info@ap.org. You'll find the link in the middle of the page. Here's my letter:
AP

I just read the most unbelievable entry at Power Line.

Apparently your reporter, Jennifer Loven, has written a hit piece on President Bush for the John Kerry campaign. Updates contained within this piece show that Ms. Loven is married to Roger Ballantine. Do you know what Power Line found out about Roger Ballantine? Here's the relevant excerpt:
In Georgetown's East Village, Roger Ballentine and his wife Jennifer Loven have sold their quaint two bedroom semi- detached Federal house at 1346 29th Street, N.W.
Roger Ballentine is president of Green Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in energy and environmental issues, and was previously deputy assistant to President Clinton for environmental initiatives and chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force. He also sits on the board of directors of Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF)along with actors Ed Begley, Jr. and Larry Hagman. Jennifer Loven is a reporter for the Associated Press.

Here is a sample of Mr. Ballentine's writing, for New Democrats Online:

Given President Bush's persistent unwillingness to tackle the problem of global warming, it falls to Congress to find ways to address the looming threat.
Do you suppose Mr. Ballentine has a candidate in this year's Presidential contest? Why, he does indeed. In fact he is quoted as one of John Kerry's leading supporters on Kerry's own website!
Are you kidding me? How can you let your reporters do this? I'm simply stunned at the recent behavior of the AP. First you manufactured a story that said Bush supporters booed when President Bush told them that former president Clinton needed heart bypass surgery when it was not true at all. And now this?

No wonder the media has very low credibility. The AP should be as outraged as I am. Your name is mud. You have allowed your reputation to be destroyed by partisan hacks masquerading as unbiased reporters who are doing everything they can do to influence a political campaign. And you're trying to make us think you're unbiased?

The Associated Press is a disgusting organization whose reputation is in the gutter with CBS.

Sincerely

Sean Roper
Power Line is hoping to generate 10,000 complaints.

The United Nations is a pathetic, sick, horrible organization. Go read David Brooks in The New York Times to understand how the U.N. has been working on the genocide in Sudan. An excerpt:
But the multilateral process moved along in its dignified way. The U.N. general secretary was making preparations to set up a commission. Preliminary U.N. resolutions were passed, and the mass murderers were told they should stop - often in frosty tones. The world community - well skilled in the art of expressing disapproval, having expressed fusillades of disapproval over Rwanda, the Congo, the Balkans, Iraq, etc. - expressed its disapproval.

And, meanwhile, 1.2 million were driven from their homes in Darfur.

There was even some talk of sending U.S. troops to stop the violence, which, of course, would have been a brutal act of oil-greedy unilateralist empire-building, and would have been protested by a million lovers of peace in the streets. Instead, the U.S. proposed a resolution threatening sanctions on Sudan, which began another round of communiqué-issuing.

The Russians, who sell military planes to Sudan, decided sanctions would not be in the interests of humanity. The Chinese, whose oil companies have a significant presence in Sudan, threatened a veto. And so began the great watering-down. Finally, a week ago, the Security Council passed a resolution threatening to "consider" sanctions against Sudan at some point, though at no time soon.

The Security Council debate had all the decorous dullness you'd expect. The Algerian delegate had "profound concern." The Russian delegate pronounced the situation "complex." The Sudanese government was praised because the massacres are proceeding more slowly. The air was filled with nuanced obfuscations, technocratic jargon and the amoral blandness of multilateral deliberation.

The resolution passed, and it was a good day for alliance-nurturing and burden-sharing - for the burden of doing nothing was shared equally by all. And we are by now used to the pattern. Every time there is an ongoing atrocity, we watch the world community go through the same series of stages: (1) shock and concern (2) gathering resolve (3) fruitless negotiation (4) pathetic inaction (5) shame and humiliation (6) steadfast vows to never let this happen again.
This is the organization that the Democrats want to turn our national security decisions over to. Never forget that. This is the organization that is responsible for the multi-billion dollar fraud known as Oil-for-Food. The fraud that starved the Iraqi people and allowed the blame to be cast on the U.S.

The U.N. is a disgusting organization and my contempt for that body grows by the day.

Mark Steyn:
But Iraq's the No. 1 issue in American right now, and they've got the go-to guy right in front of them, and what do the blow-dried poseurs of the networks ask:

''Mr. President, John Kerry is accusing you of colossal failures of judgment in Iraq . . .''

NBC guy: ''A central theme of your campaign is that America is safer because of the invasion of Iraq. Can you understand why Americans may not believe you?''

CNN: ''Sir, I'd like you to answer Senator Kerry and other critics who accuse you of hypocrisy or opportunism . . .''

They're six feet from Iraq's head of government and they've got not a question for him. They've got no interest in Iraq except insofar as they can use the issue to depress sufficient numbers of swing voters in Florida and Ohio.

Who's living in the fantasyland here? Huge forces are at play in a world of rapid change. As the prime minister said, ''We Iraqis will stand by you, America, in a war larger than either of our nations.'' But the gentlemen of the press can barely stifle their ennui. Say what you like about the old left, but at least they were outward-looking and internationalist. This new crowd -- Democrats and media alike -- are stunted and parochial, their horizons shriveling more every day.
Typical media. I want to give another example from the same piece that shows the open hostility many in the media have for the president. Just remember, these people are supposed to be unbiased.
Nonetheless, barely had the prime minister finished than the absentee senator did a daytime version of his midnight ramble and barged his way onto the air to insist that he knew better than Iraq's head of government what was going on in the country. One question from his accompanying press corps was especially choice:

''Prime Minister Allawi told Congress today that democracy was taking hold in Iraq and that the terrorists there were on the defensive. Is he living in the same fantasyland as the president?''
What kind of question is that? Who but a rabid partisan would ask such a biased question? No wonder people don't trust the media.