Sean's Blog

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Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Glenn Reynolds featured a long post that has link after link after link to speeches given by President Bush and others that highlighted his reasons for going to war with Iraq. All before the war began.

Professor Reynolds sums up the commentary on President Bush's speeches then to what the left is saying now:
"So back then the claims were bogus -- and now they're new!"
It has become "true" that President Bush has changed his rationale for going to war with Iraq after it was discovered that Saddam Hussein disposed of his WMD's and didn't account for them. Just ask the media and leftwing pundits. Someone will repeat the lie this week.

The new MSM and leftist "truth" is that President Bush's reasons have shifted even though a simple Google search shows quite clearly what the man was saying before the war even started.

That's what is known as historical revisionism and if they other side can simply repeat it often enough it becomes true even though the facts plainly argue the opposite.

Michael Costello in The Australian also talks about the failure of the left's "realism":
A foreign policy without principle will fail because it is fundamentally sterile. That is why unadorned so-called "realism" in foreign policy, with its emphasis on stability and the status quo, can sound clever and sophisticated but in the end implodes under its own emptiness. But principle must be pursued with pragmatism and with patience if it is not to end in recklessness and aggression.

The key thing for those on the Left to understand is that intense dislike of Bush and echoes of Vietnam do not make a foreign policy. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Bolton - they too will pass. What will go on is the great human desire to be free, which should be at the core of our foreign policy. The great danger for the Left is that its Vietnam and Bush obsessions may mean that it will end up on the wrong side of history.
May mean the left will end up on the wrong side of history? I'd say they are already there.

Mark Steyn is my favorite editorial writer, but Victor Davis Hanson is a close second. See why:
In the Middle East, the tenets of the old realism went something like this: These people are either crazy or backward, and usually both. We are interested in them only to the extent they pump oil and deter Communists. So authoritarians get a pass if they don’t rock the boat and don’t kill too many of their own on television like Saddam or Assad did. Under no circumstances spend American blood or treasure in any pie-in-the-sky project to ameliorate the misery of the Arab people. That will both fail and only earn us disdain as being naïve as well as inept.
That is the old conventional wisdom. Pre-9/11 conventional wisdom. After 9/11 the right in the United States looked at that and said, "Okay, we tried it that way for 50 odd years and all it got us was radical Islam. It's time to rethink our policies."

Democrats subsequently reacted as if we'd set their hair on fire and demanded a strict adherence to what Hanson calls "realism" or status quo. The Democrats, in the course of a single day, became the conservatives and the former conservatives, the neo-cons, became the progressives demanding a radical rethinking of our Middle East policy.

Democrats wanted to maintain the status quo even as America watched the rubble of the Twin Towers smolder in New York. Yea, because it had obviously worked so well.

I want to paste one more excerpt from Hanson's piece to further illustrates what we were doing during the "realism" that Democrats have been defending so vocally these past 3 1/2 years:
We have given somewhere around $57 billion in aggregate aid to Egypt, apparently so that it would be nice or perhaps would keep away from Israel. Forget that the money helped to paper over structural pathologies in the Egyptian economy and empowered corrupt elites. It had even worse results, suggesting to the Cairo Street that a weak country was prevented from fulfilling its destiny of destroying Israel only by American and Zionist machinations — as if an underpowered bantamweight was kept from snatching the heavyweight title crown by devious boxing promoters.

Thus radical Egyptians never quite got it that their government settled for peace of sorts not because of American interference but because had they tried a fourth full-scale war, what was left of the Egyptian military, especially had it not been re-supplied by American arms, would have been ruined. That Mohamed Atta and Dr. Zawahiri came out of Cairo is logical rather than exceptional, as is the frequent murdering by offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood and rumors of illicit weapons programs.

Nor did we dare insist at Oslo that Palestinians should embrace the type of humane institutions found in Israel. So Yasser Arafat met Dennis Ross 500 times. Arafat was said to be the most frequent foreign visitor to the Clinton White House. American money and appeasement followed and we saw kleptocracy, one-vote-one-time, intifadas, and suicide bombings — and the hopes that Mrs. Arafat and her Paris crowd would leave some crumbs for those on the West Bank, who in turn blamed their poverty on the Jews.
The whole thing is a must read.

Tom Delay? You gotta be kidding me!

For the record:
House Democrats have mounted an attack on Majority Leader Tom DeLay, accusing him of having his wife and daughter on his campaign payroll. They don’t bother to tell you that Sen. Joe Lieberman’s son Matthew received about $34,000 and daughter Rebecca about $36,000 for working on his 2004 presidential campaign, or that California Democrat Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark’s wife Deborah earns $2,400 a month for serving as campaign consultant, or that Rep. Bart Stupak’s wife Laurie earned about $36,000 annually the past two years as the finance director for her husband's campaign.

They attack DeLay for going on junkets, but remain mum when it comes to Democrats. Take liberal Democrat Maurice Hinchey, who according to the New York Daily News took 27 trips costing private groups $157,000 over the past five years. He traveled in style; luxuriating at resorts like the Four Seasons in Punta Mita and other sumptuous retreats in Morocco, Madrid, Budapest, Helsinki, Tunisia, Cancun, Italy, Vancouver, Shanghai and Grand Cayman Island.

Democratic Rep. Elliot Engel, according to the Daily News, "has whisked his wife to first-class resorts in San Juan and Las Vegas, Wyoming and Florida - and barely spent a nickel." He took a $5,300 junket to New Orleans for his daughter and took his teenage son to Seattle and London and Jerusalem, gratis. Charlie Rangel junketed to the Dominican Republic three times in recent years, courtesy of the Punta Cana Beach Resort in 2001, American Airlines in 2002 and the Dominican/American Roundtable in 2003. Democrat Gregory Meeks took 37 trips in the last five years - 30 privately funded and seven government-paid. He went to Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Venezuela and Honolulu at a total cost of $150,000. Jerrold Nadler took his wife Joyce on a pair of trips costing $5,500 and $6,600, respectively - courtesy of the Association of American Railroads, while serving on the House Railroad Subcommittee.
That's right. Now sit down and shut the f*** up.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

This is how the Democrats wanted to respond to 9/11. They wanted to treat terrorists like they were criminals and would have responded by issuing arrest warrants for the Al Qaeda leadership.

Thank God they aren't running this country.

John Hinderaker gives a perfect example of the sort of disconnect between reality in Iraq and what the MSM would have us believe is the reality:
Haider makes a very fundamental point here, one that is absent from all of the MSM stories I've seen on the al-Sadr anti-American demonstrations: Al-Sadr's slate got so few votes in January's election that they didn't get a single seat in the Iraqi parliament. Yet, it seems, their ability to turn out a few tattered demonstrators is enough to garner headlines throughout the U.S. Why?
Good question. For some reason, when 60 people protest against the war CNN sends out reporters and it becomes national, even world, news. But when 30,000 people turn out to welcome home our soldiers and express their love for their country, well, that's not newsworthy.

That's why many people think that Iraq is a Vietnam-like quagmire and disaster. Because that's what the MSM tells them. The reality is very different from what CNN has led people to believe.

Via Tim Blair. Terry Castle has a piece about Susan Sontag in the London Review of Books.

Castle gives proof that many intellectual elites are sickening, unlikeable, arrogant assholes.

Sontag was their queen:
Everyone crowded into their seats: despite the vast size of the room, we were an intime gathering. Yet it wouldn’t be quite right merely to say that everyone ignored me. As a non-artist and non-celebrity, I was so ‘not there’, it seemed – so cognitively unassimilable – I wasn’t even registered enough to be ignored. I sat at one end of the table like a piece of anti-matter. I didn’t exchange a word the whole night with Lou Reed, who sat kitty-corner across from me. He remained silent and surly. Everyone else gabbled happily on, however, about how they loved to trash hotels when they were younger and how incompetent everybody was at the Pompidou. ‘At my show I had to explain things to them a thousand times. They just don’t know how to do a major retrospective.’

True, Sontag tried briefly to call the group’s attention to me (with the soul-destroying words, ‘Terry is an English professor’); and Abramovic kindly gave me a little place card to write my name on. But otherwise I might as well not have been born. My one conversational gambit failed dismally: when I asked the man from the Guggenheim, to my right, what his books were about, he regarded me disdainfully and began, ‘I am famous for – ,’ then caught himself. He decided to be more circumspect – he was the ‘world’s leading expert on Arte Povera’ – but then turned his back on me for the next two hours. At one point I thought I saw Laurie Anderson, at the other end of the table, trying to get my attention: she was smiling sweetly in my direction, as if to undo my pathetic isolation. I smiled in gratitude in return and held up my little place card so she would at least know my name. Annoyed, she gestured back impatiently, with a sharp downward flick of her index finger: she wanted me to pass the wine bottle. I was reduced to a pair of disembodied hands – like the ones that come out of the walls and give people drinks in Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast.
How pathetic would it be to WANT these sort of people in my life? I'd rather eat glass.

"Democracy's Progress" in Iraq:
It took more than two months, but liberated Iraq finally has a new government leadership, ratified by the country's democratically elected National Assembly.

Even Saddam Hussein watched the proceedings — from the privacy of his prison cell in Baghdad — as the public face of a new Iraq took shape.

Veteran Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani was elected president, a largely ceremonial post; his vice presidents will be Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite, and current interim President Ghazi al-Yawer.

And last weekend, Hajim M. al-Hassani, a Sunni, was tapped as speaker of the assembly, an important, though largely ceremonial, post.

That careful ethnic balance reflects the new power shift in Iraq: Under Saddam's Sunni-dominated regime, both the Kurdish minority and the Shiite majority were persecuted.

Another Shiite, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, was elected prime minister — the most powerful position in the new cabinet, which he must name within 30 days. He and the assembly also face an Aug. 15 deadline to draft a new constitution.

What a change from three years ago, when Saddam reigned supreme and most Iraqis lived in fear of his terrorist regime. Now Iraq has precisely the kind of "inclusive and representative government" for which President Bush had been hoping.

Even after last January's largely violence-free national elections — in which millions turned out to vote — the naysayers gleefully pointed to the new legislature's squabbling over leadership positions as proof that Bush's advancement of global democracy would never take root in Iraq.

Naysayers like erstwhile presidential contender John Kerry, who solemnly intoned that "no one in the United States should overhype this election."

Once again, Kerry and his crew of carpers have been proved wrong.

No, Iraq's democratic birth pangs aren't over and done with — not by a long shot. But then, the United States didn't achieve a fully stable government this quickly after winning its independence either.
Glenn Reynolds always reminds his readers that democracy is a process not a single event. I'd say the process is going very well in Iraq. Setbacks are likely, but the odds of a peaceful, non-threatening Iraq emerging are very good.

It has been suggested lately that Hillary Clinton is "moderating" her views so that she may be elected in the general election of 2008 to be president of the United States. First she has to get through the primaries and that means moving to the far left to win over the mainstream of the Democratic faithful. That is, the nutjobs at and the Democratic Underground. The kooks. The conspiracy theorists who believe Karl Rove is behind everything.

The New York Post has the details of her speech at the annual Hubert H. Humphrey Day dinner:
"We are headed to a brave, new world of extremism, and we need to make clear we're not going there," she told a sellout crowd of 2,000 who paid $100 a head to see her. "We stand against their radical, reactionary right-wing agenda."

Clinton sounded every bit the stumping presidential contender as she slammed the Republicans for driving up the national debt, wrecking overseas alliances and leading the nation on a domestic path "well outside the mainstream."
Outside the mainstream seems to mean outside the Democratic platform. They seems to forget that they lost the recent presidential election and it is their views that are outside the mainstream. The majority of the people rejected their ideas and President Bush represents the mainstream.

Democrats don't hold even one branch of the federal government. They don't hold the majority of governorships nor do they have the majority of statehouses. In short, the Democrats are outside the mainstream. They are the ones that the majority of the people don't agree with.

Ann Coulter has her own webpage, but linking to her articles can be problematic because she doesn't have a separate archived page all set up for her latest. She posts her latest piece on the main page and then later she moves it to an archived location. I like to use Frontpage because David Horowitz already has an assigned location for Coulter's works and it doesn't change the next week when the new piece comes out.

I just thought I'd explain why I use Frontpage when linking to Coulter's columns instead of her own page. Got that? Good.

Now, with all that said, I must paste a sample of her latest. As usual, it's funny, sarcastic, and dead on:
I'll leave it to the Catholics to explain the theological details, but we have a beautiful pair of bookmarks to the exact same incident illustrating women's special skills and deficits. The escape and capture of Brian Nichols shows women playing roles they should not (escorting dangerous criminals) and women playing roles they do best (making men better people).

Nichols' murderous rampage began when he took the gun from a 5-foot-tall grandmother who was his sole guard at the Fulton County Courthouse. It ended when an otherwise unremarkable 26-year-old woman appealed to the Christian conscience of this same violent killer holding her hostage.

At 2 a.m. one Saturday night, Ashley Smith went out for cigarettes while unpacking her new apartment, yet another victory for tobacco pleasure. Returning from the store, Smith was grabbed by a man at her front door, who put a gun in her side and told her not to scream. He asked if she knew who he was. When he removed his baseball cap, she saw it was Nichols, the dangerous fugitive all over television who had escaped custody during his rape trial and had killed four people in the previous 48 hours. (Although he also looked a lot like of one the guys on "American Idol.")

In Smith's apartment, Nichols bound Smith's feet and hands and put her in the bathtub. Later, at Smith's request, Nichols allowed her to hop from the bathroom into the bedroom, where she began talking to him.

In short order, Smith was reading aloud to Nichols from the Christian book "The Purpose Driven Life" – in direct violation of his constitutional right to never hear any reference to God, in public or private, for any purpose, ever, ever, ever! For more on this right, go to the "People for the American Way" website.
I love it that women on the right can say things like, "women have strengths and weaknesses" while women on the left believe any idea that women may be different from men and that they may have weaknesses is equivalent to hate speech.