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me to be the definition of "free speech".
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or do that opposes America. I say "speech" ends
where "action" begins. Once you pick up a gun
for the enemy, throw a rock at a cop during a
"peace" march, send money to a terrorist
organisation, or travel to Baghdad to block an
American JDAM with your ass, you have crossed the line from free speech to costly action.
Saying the War on Terror is all about al-Qaeda is like saying we should have fought the Japanese Naval Air Force after Pearl Harbor. Not the Japanese Navy, not the Japanese Army, not the Empire of Japan -- just the Naval Air Force....
Complaining about the "waste" when human embryos are destroyed instead of being used in medical experiments is a lot like going to a funeral and complaining about the waste of perfectly good meat....
Blaming CO2 for climate change is like blaming smoke for the fire. CO2 is largely a following, not a leading, indicator of a rise in temperature....
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Every time, Liberals will fight to protect the guilty and kill the innocent, while Conservatives will fight to protect the innocent and punish the guilty.
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Nightline: Politicising the War Dead
It wasn't enough for the Left when the "mainstream" media made it a point to include the daily US soldier body count from Iraq in every news report in every medium. It wasn't enough when they unapologetically added the number of those killed in accidents in Iraq -- which, frankly, could have happened almost anywhere -- to those killed in combat, just to inflate the American body count further. It wasn't enough for the Left that, for the last half of 2003, the media talking heads almost gleefully announced a second daily Iraq soldier body count, with the tagline, "since President Bush declared major combat over on May first." Support for the liberation of Iraq from dictator Saddam Hussein remained strong, despite the best efforts of the Left to instill an anti-war attitude into every viewer.
Dissatisfied at the refusal of the unwashed masses to go along with their determination to undermine support for the President and the war in Iraq, the Left began attacking him for not attending the funerals of dead soldiers, despite the fact that such events have been rare occurences in our history. President Johnson, who presided over the Vietnam War around which the Left has based their opposition to all things military since, only attended two military funerals despite the fact that 58,169 service members died. Bill Clinton, beloved of the Left, did not attend any funerals for the military except for the sailors killed in the al-Qaeda attack on the USS Stark. Not even the 18 Army Rangers who died in Mogadishu in 1993 merited a Presidential funeral attendance.
When that didn't drum up the anti-war sentiment the Left wanted, they began attempting to politicise the military itself. Falling back on standard Democrat class warfare tactics, the anti-war Left, led by Charlie Rangel (D-NY), began -- isn't irony incredible? -- actually calling for a draft, claiming that an all-volunteer military was "unfair" to minorities and the poor. As tragic as it was, the recent death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman in Afghanistan quickly squashed the Left's claim that people only enter the military due to economic hardship or other disadvantage. Tillman, a rising football star, turned down a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals out of sheer patriotism after 9/11, becoming an Army Ranger instead.
Back to the dead, then. The Left has been attacking President Bush for not allowing photos of soldiers' coffins to be taken, implying that he was attempting to hide something. What he might be hiding, no one can say, since the death toll (as I pointed out earlier) has been announced several dozen times daily since the first day of combat in Iraq. The problem with that particular line of attack is that the Pentagon's rule against photographing the coffins of war dead has been in place since 1991, and was not invented by President Bush to keep anything "secret." The Left runs on sheer emotionalism, however, and many believed viewers would "feel" more objectionable towards the war if they could only see some coffins, since merely announcing numbers wasn't causing anti-war sentiment to rise. Finally, the Left got what it wanted -- a photographer broke the long-standing rule and shot several pictures of flag-draped caskets. Unfortunately for the Left, the remains were being treated with all the honor and respect they deserve, instead of being stacked like cordwood or cargo. "I let the parents know their children weren't thrown around like a piece of cargo, that they instead were treated with the utmost respect and dignity," said the woman who was fired for taking the pictures. Guess the Left just can't catch a break. The "coffin photo controversy" was quickly (pardon the pun) buried.
Ted Koppel must be growing impatient with the persistent "failure" of mainstream America to feel the anti-war sentiment the Leftist elites want them to. How can they undermine support for President Bush in the fall election if most Americans stubbornly refuse to personally blame him for each and every American death in Iraq? Well, Ted's got what he thinks is the answer. Tonight's "Nightline" will be almost exclusively devoted to reading the names of every American man and woman killed in Iraq, while pictures of the dead are shown and wistful music, no doubt, tugs at the heartstrings. "Just look at these people. Look at their names. And look at their ages. Consider what they've done for you. Honor them," says Koppel by way of defense, claiming that this is not a political statement. If you believe that, then give me your name. I've got some Florida swamplan... uh, prime real estate to sell you.
If it's simply an honor roll of America's war dead, as Koppel and other Leftists claim, then where are the names of those who have died in Afghanistan?
Posted at Friday, April 30, 2004 by CavalierX
Monday, April 26, 2004
PA Primary: Republican vs. RINO
Tomorrow's primary will decide whether Pennsylvania Republicans are represented in the US Senate by a Conservative Republican or a RINO -- Republican In Name Only. According to CBS news Arlen Specter "votes with Democrats almost exactly 50 percent of the time." Naturally, this appears to be a good thing to the Liberal media. If there's any point in calling Specter a Republican, I fail to see it. Pat Toomey, on the other hand, is described as a "former Wall Streeter, Harvard grad and conservative ideologue" and is "known as a tax-cutting, spending-cutting budget hawk. He is also conservative on social issues such as abortion and cloning." Except for the cloning issue (being all in favor of the advancement of science), I cannot see a downside to electing Toomey to represent the State's Republicans. The media's position on the contest -- again, no surprise -- is that it's better for Pennsylvanian Conservatives to elect a false Republican who represents them only half the time than a true Conservative who -- the media hastens to warn -- stands a chance of losing the election in November.
While Specter voted to reduce the Bush tax cuts in 2001, Toomey voted for them in full. Specter has voted for five major tax increases, in fact, while Toomey has opposed raising taxes. We've seen the result of those cuts in a booming economy. Toomey supports tort reform, which would cut down on the number of frivolous lawsuits that are keeping health care costs so high. Specter opposes those reforms. Specter favors allowing US soldiers to be tried in the International Criminal Court, while Toomey opposes such an affront to the rights of Americans under the Constitution. Specter voted to let public schools ban the Boy Scouts of America. Toomey supports school choice, while Specter opposes it. In 1987, Specter voted against Reagan's appointment of Conservative Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. Bork's appointment would have prevented many of the judicial abuses of power we've been subject to ever since.
In 2002, Arlen Specter was the only Republican to vote against a resolution to aid international efforts to bring "Saddam Hussein and other foreign nationals accused of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity" to justice. He still voted against the measure when it was weakened to read that "nothing in this title shall prohibit the United States from rendering assistance to international efforts to bring to justice Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosovic, Osama bin Laden, other members of Al Queda, leaders of Islamic Jihad, and other foreign nationals accused of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity." Again, he was the only Republican to do so. Toomey has voted for pay raises for the military every year he has been in office. Not only did Specter vote against military pay raises two separate times, but he also voted to cut the budgets for both intelligence and defense along with John Kerry.
Tomorrow's primary is not Republican vs. Republican. It's Republican vs. RINO.
Posted at Monday, April 26, 2004 by CavalierX
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Supporting Abortion: Your Tax Dollars At Work
If you ever sought proof that our educational system is dominated by Liberals, it's this: the National Education Association is co-sponsoring an April pro-abortion march in Washington DC. Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America and other liberal and feminist groups are marching to promote abortion on demand. The organisation that supposedly represents America's teachers is officially marching right alongside them. Certainly there are individual teachers who don't support abortion, and would rather their mandatory union dues -- automatically deducted from their paychecks, which are generated by our taxes -- not be spent to sponsor a rally in favor of it, but they are clearly in the minority.
What business does a teacher's union have promoting abortion on the taxpayer's dime? Shouldn't the National Education Association be more concerned with issues related to education? What message does it send to children when they see their teachers endorse killing unborn children as a matter of convenience? How are they supposed to feel when they realise that if their mothers had felt the same way, they might not have been born? Aren't the teachers worried about putting themselves out of a job if too many people listen to them? Actually, there's little danger of teachers being fired for any reason once they reach tenure. This is the most radical method of reducing class size I've ever seen, however.
If teachers are supposed to be authority figures and role models for children, they should stick to promoting positive values when they speak as teachers. There's no reason for them to get involved in pro-abortion marches any more than they should be involved with so-called anti-war marches... which they're also doing. For instance, the United Educators of San Francisco/AFT/NEA/AFL-CIO joined with groups like the International Socialist Organization, the Pagans 4 Peace and the Queers For Racial & Economic Justice to stage a recent "run away!" war protest in San Francisco. Teachers were seen demanding that the US run away from its responsibilities in Iraq and stop fighting for liberty. Once again, what message does this send to the children for whom those teachers represent adulthood and authority?
If union members want to march in support of causes that have nothing to do with education, that's their right as individuals. When they represent themselves as speaking on behalf of America's teachers, then they shouldn't be endorsing either side of political issues.
Isn't it about time that the schools we pay for stop being used as a pulpit from which to promote purely Liberal "values"?
Posted at Sunday, April 25, 2004 by CavalierX
Thursday, April 22, 2004
The Strange Odyssey of John O'Neill
Of all the people the 9/11 Commission should be interviewing but isn't, one person tops the list. It's not because he's on the wrong side of the table, like Jamie Gorelick (who raised the wall that separated domestic and foreign intelligence, but somehow became a commissioner instead of a witness). After working for years to put the pieces of the puzzle together and bring down al-Qaeda, a dedicated FBI agent finally gave up... and then al-Qaeda killed him. The man who should be interviewed is John O'Neill.
In 1995, O'Neill was put in charge of the investigation into the 1993 WTC bombing, which pointed to Iraqi involvement. His team captured Ramzi Yousef, the al-Qaeda operative who was directly responsible for the attack (and whose identity may actually have been an Iraqi intelligence plant). He also investigated the al-Qaeda attacks in Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania) and Nairobi (Kenya) in 1998, and on the USS Cole in 2000. His aggressive attitude towards catching terrorists clashed with the limited access the Yemenis gave him to the Cole bombing suspects. Rather than upset the Yemenis, Ambassador Barbara Bodine had him barred from the country, the first time such a thing had ever been done.
O'Neill quit the FBI soon after that, when an investigation began over a briefcase containing sensitive files that disappeared from his hotel room... only to mysteriously reappear in another hotel ninety minutes later, untouched. He became the head of Security at the World Trade Center in July 2001, and was at his desk on 9/11 when the planes hit. After getting out of the building and reporting to a command post, he re-entered Tower 2 to help others escape, and was killed when it collapsed.
The Clinton administration always insisted that al-Qaeda was a new type of terrorist group, one with no ties to any countries. John O'Neill knew that this was impossible. His investigation of the Cole attack, for instance, turned up evidence that a rogue state was involved, probably Iraq. The explosive used in the bombing was only used in the US, Israel, and "two Arab countries." The sophisticated device used in the attack also pointed to state involvement. Vincent Cannistraro, former CIA counter-terrorism chief, stated in October 2000 that Iraq had been wanting to carry out terrorist attacks, and that the Iraqi military had been in contact with Osama bin Laden. The "mainstream" media's studied ignorance of statements like these is baffling.
John O'Neill's personal files from his years of traveling around the world investigating al-Qaeda are now being used as evidence in a lawsuit. His family is suing Saddam Hussein and the Nation of Iraq for his death. The evidence includes documents unearthed in the headquarters of the Mukhabarat (Iraq's intelligence service) and information gleaned from the interrogation of both al-Qaeda and Iraqi prisoners. The purpose of the suit, coordinated by the Washington Center for Peace and Justice, is to prove that Saddam Hussein was a silent partner in al-Qaeda's terror attacks against the US; that he harbored and trained al-Qaeda terrorists. For instance, the lawsuit states that two of bin Laden's senior military commanders, Muhammed abu-Islam and Abdullah Qassim, visited Baghdad in April and May 1998 to meet with Qusay Hussein, Saddam's younger (and slightly saner) son. It also claims that Ayman al-Zawahri, bin Laden's top deputy, met with Iraqi officials including then-Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan. Documents recovered in Iraq also show, the lawsuit further states, that three al-Jazeera employees were acting as messengers between Osama and Saddam. "We can substantiate through witnesses and documents all the allegations," WCPJ attorney Joshua Ambush stated. The crux of the matter is that the 9/11 hijackers were very likely trained at Salman Pak, Saddam's terrorist training camp just south of Baghdad. Sabah Khodada, a former Iraqi army captain who worked at the camp, gave an interview to the New York Times and PBS on 14 October 2001 in which he made this claim. Khodada said, "I assure you, this operation was conducted by people who were trained by Saddam." Is it any wonder that the Bush administration looked to Iraq for answers about 9/11, when the media was full of stories about the connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda?
The O'Neill case is not the only legal action being taken against states that have sponsored and supported terrorism on behalf of 9/11 victims. In May 2003, Judge Harold Baer of the Southern District Court of New York ruled that plaintiffs had presented enough evidence to be awarded $104 million in a lawsuit against the State of Iraq, among others. Over 2,000 lawsuits have been filed against the governments of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
The O'Neill lawsuit will be the keystone case, however. Not only does this particular suit have more damning and thorough documentation (having been lodged after the fall of Baghdad and the recovery of the Mukhabarat files), but much of the investigative work was done by O'Neill himself before his death. The victim, in this case, will be the architect of the prosecution.
Poetic justice at its finest.
Posted at Thursday, April 22, 2004 by CavalierX
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Syria and the WMD Shell Game
Since the day the first American soldier stepped across the Kuwait-Iraq border in March 2003, everyone who supported the removal of Saddam Hussein from power has been under a relentless attack from the Left. Led by the "mainstream" media, the attack began on the very first day, at the very first CENTCOM briefing, and has continued like a relentless mosquito whining to this day. Despite the fact that every intelligence service in the world agreed, members of the US government agreed, the United Nations agreed and Iraqi officials admitted that Iraq had created weapons of mass destruction and never provided any proof that they had been destroyed, the Left has been using "where's the WMDs?" as an attack against President Bush. Every time a plausible reason for not stumbling across warehouses full of gleaming ICBMs and vats of glowing green gunk marked "DANGER! WMD" right away was offered, the Left ignored it. They refuse to consider, even today, that Saddam may have hidden, moved or destroyed his arsenal, though it became clear months before the war in Iraq began that the Coalition was serious about forcing Saddam to comply with all those violated UN resolutions (including the 1991 cease-fire with the US). When those on the Left ask where Saddam's WMDs are, they don't actually want to know... they just want an excuse to bash Bush and claim that he "lied".
Every time evidence of illegal weapons (like the ricin in north Iraq) or dual-use material (like the so-called "pesticide" in south Iraq) was discovered, the Left brushed it off. Even Dr. David Kay's reports of Iraq's undisclosed WMD research (including Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever) could not penetrate their intransigence. They demanded that President Bush quickly produce huge stockpiles of WMDs or be branded a liar. Note that the kind of stockpile the Left demanded as evidence of Saddam's non-compliance would have been impossible to hide even from the bumbling Hans Blix. As Paul Leventhal testified before the Senate in March 2000, "he was in charge when the IAEA totally missed Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program before the Gulf War and accepted unsubstantiated Iraqi disarmament claims after the war." The Left ignored Hans Blix's background. The Left ignored every piece of evidence that Saddam had ever had WMDs. The Left has ignored everything that justified the Iraq war so far, because a just war doesn't fit their predetermined position. (You know the position: Bush is evil, he's controlled by Halliburton, aliens and/or Israel, Iraq was all about oil, world imperialism and/or personal revenge, etc.)
Well, this may prove a little harder for them to ignore.
An al-Qaeda cell linked to Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi (currently hiding out in Iraq), recently planned to set off simultaneous chemical weapon attacks in Jordan which might have killed up to 20,000 people. It might have been the worst terrorist attack ever, had it not been foiled by Jordanian officials before the plot could be carried out. One of the attack points was to have been the US embassy in Amman; the rest were public and government buildings. Where did these would-be bombers come from? Where did they get their chemical weapons, which included a poison gas (probably VX nerve agent, according to intelligence expert John Loftus)? According to Jordan... from our old friend, Syria. But how did Syria get chemical weapons?
During the last few months leading up to the Iraq war, some of Saddam's arsenal of WMDs was apparently being shipped across the Syrian border for safe-keeping. The Israelis believed that the bulk of it kept going, to be buried in Lebanon's Beka'a Valley, under Hezbollah control.
Now, our intelligence sources can disclose exclusively that the relocation of Iraq’s WMD systems took place between January 10 and March 10 and was completed just 10 days before the US-led offensive was launched against Iraq. The banned arsenal, hauled in giant tankers from Iraq to Syria and from there to the Bekaa Valley under Syrian special forces and military intelligence escort, was discharged into pits 6-8 meters across and 25-35 meters deep dug by Syrian army engineers. They were sealed and planted over with new seedlings. Nonetheless, their location is known and detectable with the right instruments. Our sources have learned that Syria was paid about $35 million to make Saddam Hussein’s forbidden weapons disappear.
The first part of this report matches what David Kay learned after spending several months in Iraq searching for the whereabouts of Saddam's arsenal. "We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons," he said. "But we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD programme. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved." The report was further corroborated by CIA satellite photos showing fleets of trucks moving from Iraq to Syria during February and March 2003. A Syrian journalist named Nizar Nayuf defected to the West in January 2004. He claimed to know of three locations in Syria where Saddam's WMDs were buried in February 2003.
US officials have repeatedly warned Syria that their covert support of the terrorists in Iraq will not be tolerated. Syria has consistently worked against the Coalition and against the formation of a new democracy in Iraq. They provided safe haven for former members of Saddam's regime and have probably been hiding Saddam's WMD arsenal all along. If Bashar Assad has allowed terrorists to acquire some of it, things will go very badly for him... and in the very near future.
Posted at Wednesday, April 21, 2004 by CavalierX
Sunday, April 18, 2004
Pop quiz: Who recently said the following?
"This war makes millions of dollars for big corporations, either weapons manufacturers or those working in the reconstruction [of Iraq], such as Halliburton and its sister companies...
"It is crystal clear who benefits from igniting the fire of this war and this bloodshed: They are the merchants of war, the bloodsuckers who run the policy of the world from behind the scenes.
"President Bush and his ilk, the media giants... all are a fatal danger to the world..."
Was it a) Osama bin Laden, b) John Kerry, c) a MoveOn.org ad, d) Robert Byrd or e) Ted Kennedy?
The answer, of course, is a) Osama bin Laden. But why was it so hard to choose, if you didn't already know the answer? Has anyone noticed that America's worst enemies and leading Democrats are starting to sound alike? Last week Ted Kennedy, Bobby Byrd and Moqtada al-Sadr all used the same troop-demoralising line about Iraq being Vietnam to attack President Bush. Can you imagine the Republicans quoting Emperor Hirohito or Adolf Hitler during the 1944 election campaign? Perhaps they could have quoted Prime Minister Tojo, when he said in 1942, "America that is suffering repeated defeats is trying to cover its mortal blow by relying on vicious propaganda and is in a desperate condition trying to cover the rising criticism within the country and to preserve the right of neutral countries." Would attacking the President using the enemy's words have won over the American people in 1944? Would telling US troops that they were fighting a war for immoral reasons, that they were bound to fail, and that their commander-in-chief was a terrible person have won the election?
Certainly not then, and I hope it doesn't now.
Posted at Sunday, April 18, 2004 by CavalierX
Saturday, April 17, 2004
Is Kerry Hiding Behind the Flag?
With months still ahead in the 2004 campaign, Presidential hopeful John Kerry is already losing control of his rhetoric. Some partisan Democrats seem to think the fact that John Kerry served in Vietnam over thirty years ago should prevent anyone from questioning his votes during the nearly two decades he served in the Senate since. Now, that ridiculous assertion has come from the mouth of the candidate himself.
While campaigning in Pittsburgh PA, Kerry attacked Republicans for questioning his history of voting against defense funding. This is a legitimate line of questioning which deserves a straight answer. Last year, for instance, Congress voted on an $87 billion package, 75% of which was intended for military expenditures including troop transportation, body armor, armored Humvees and two-week furloughs for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Regarding the reaction to his "nay" vote, Kerry told his listeners, "I'm tired of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and a bunch of people who went out of their way to avoid their chance to serve when they had the chance. I went (to Vietnam). I'm not going listen to them talk to me about patriotism."
No one remotely connected with President Bush, of course, has ever actually questioned Kerry's patriotism. In fact, none of them have questioned the patriotism of Democrats in general, or even that of the farthest-left Liberals. The vicious personal attacks have gone in the other direction, with high-ranking Democrats such as Al Gore screaming that President Bush "betrayed this country," or Ted Kennedy accusing President Bush of concocting a war for political gain. The old saying that "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," was meant for this situation -- when a person hides behind patriotism, using it as a way to avoid honest questions about his conduct. It's possible (though difficult to see how) a person may love America and still want to disable her defenses. But is a person with that kind of flawed judgement a good candidate for President?
Patriotism is generally understood to mean "devotion to the welfare of one's country", which reducing the military and hobbling the intelligence services is unlikely to improve. Yet John Kerry did, in fact, vote numerous times in favor of reducing the military and intelligence budgets. Just four months after the 1993 bombing attack on the World trade Center, Kerry introduced Bill S.1163, which included the following provisions:
Reduction in the operating tempo of ballistic missile submarines.
Reduction in the attack submarine force.
Reduction in the antisubmarine warfare weapon systems of the Navy.
Reduction in number of light divisions.
Reduction in number of tactical fighter wings.
Limitation on expenditures for nuclear weapons research, development, and testing activities.
Strategic Defense Initiative [reduced to research only].
Termination of the MHC(V) coastal mine-hunting ship program.
Termination of the Kinetic Energy Anti-satellite Attack program.
Required exercise of early retirement authority.
Kerry introduced Bill S.1290 in 1995 in order to "reduce the Intelligence budget by $300 million in each of fiscal years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000." In 1996, Kerry attempted to reduce the defense budget by $6.5 billion, but Bill S.1580 found no backers. It's understandable that Kerry's distaste for America's involvement in the Vietnam War -- for which many blamed the CIA -- might have led him to want intelligence agencies and the military kept on a short leash and buried in restrictions. But is that the kind of person who should be elected Commander-in-Chief of the military, the person to whom all our intelligence services report? Especially in the middle of a war of worldwide scope?
Worse than the alleged attack on Kerry's patriotism was his implication that Americans who did not serve in the military should not question Kerry's Senate votes. The last time I checked the Constitution, military service was not a prerequisite for asking about a candidate's voting record. Should John Kerry's history, except for what he chooses for his commercials and speeches, be exempt from scrutiny simply because he once served in the military? Is he afraid of making more admissions like that concerning the $87 billion package? "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it," Kerry told a West Virgina gathering in March. Unless you served in Vietnam, you'd better not ask for clarification.
Why not just choose a President randomly, if Americans aren't allowed to question the supposedly public records of the candidates?
Posted at Saturday, April 17, 2004 by CavalierX
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Wasting Time: the 9/11 Commission
Much has been made lately of a single Presidential Daily Briefing from August 6th 2001. During Condoleeza Rice's public testimony before the 9/11 trial -- sorry, I meant Commission -- Senator Bob Kerrey seemed absolutely fixated on its title, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US." He didn't want her to elaborate on its contents, however. Apparently the title alone was supposed to cause President Bush to institute emergency measures before 9/11 that would absolutely have prevented the terrorist attacks that had been planned for several years. Somehow the Democrats want us all to believe that in the weeks before 9/11, with no definite warnings about any specific threat, they would gladly have accepted armed security on airplanes, public "terror alerts", racial profiling of young Middle Eastern men, constant jet fighter patrols over large American cities, and a pre-emptive strike on a terrorist-supporting sovereign nation before its terrorists could attack us.
Who do they think they're kidding? They don't accept those things NOW!
Let's take a look at this critical memo, and figure out exactly where it predicted 9/11 just weeks in advance.
Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."
After U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, bin Laden told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a -- -- service. An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told - - service at the same time that bin Laden was planning to exploit the operative's access to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike.
It seems that for at least four years, everyone -- including the media -- had known that bin Laden planned to attack America at some point. He was fairly open about it in his 1998 interview with John Miller of ABC. However, the exact date planned for that coming attack doesn't seem to have been common knowledge. If President Bush had held a press conference to say "Terrorists plan to attack us, but we have no idea when," he would have been excoriated. Washington is mentioned, but in connection to what?
The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of bin Laden's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the U.S.
Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that in ---, Laden lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own U.S. attack.
The "millenium plot" to blow up Los Angeles International Airport during the New Year's Eve celebrations at the end of 1999 was foiled by an alert border guard and pure luck. Nothing here addresses future terrorist attacks with anything like unambiguous specifics. Should President Bush have sealed the Canadian border to prevent terrorists like Ressam from crossing it? As we know, it still wouldn't have prevented 9/11.
Ressam says bin Laden was aware of the Los Angeles operation. Although Bin Laden has not succeeded, his attacks against the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Laden associates surveyed our embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.
Al Qaeda members -- including some who are U.S. citizens -- have resided in or traveled to the U.S. for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks.
Two al-Qaeda members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were U.S. citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.
A clandestine source said in 1998 that a bin Laden cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.
Nothing in any of the above paragraphs gives a clue as to al-Qaeda's plans for 9/11 that I can see. The fact that bin Laden prepares operations years in advance actually lessens any sense of urgency this briefing might have engendered.
We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ---- service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.
Finally, a future airplane hijacking is mentioned. Yet there's no indication what plane, which airport, when, or by whom. What could realistically have been done with this information? Put armed men and women on every flight in America for an indefinite period? Cause a panic by warning the public about a vague danger of terrorist activity with no specifics? Note that the presumed purpose of the possible future hijacking was wrong, although it may be what many of the hijackers themselves were told was the aim.
Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.
Note that this information, too, would have led nowhere. No Federal buildings in New York City were attacked by terrorists on 9/11. Since no terrorists had flown airplanes into buildings before, why would anyone derive from this briefing that anything other than a truck bomb or other explosive was being planned? Was the President expected to tell the public that a Federal building in New York City might get blown up soon, but that we had no further details? What would it have accomplished besides pointless fear-mongering (which the administration is accused of doing every time the terror alert level is changed post-9/11)?
The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full-field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers bin Laden-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives.
Putting all the elements of this report together would have brought any reasonable person to two conclusions. First, al-Qaeda was planning to hijack an airplane to bargain for the release of Omar Abdel Rahman. Second, al-Qaeda might be planning to detonate a bomb at one of the Federal buildings in New York City. Both conclusions would have been wrong. As the briefing contained no specifics regarding time and place, there was nothing that could reasonably have been done to prevent 9/11 based on this memo.
After reading the last paragraph of the briefing, no one could have said anything other than, "It sounds as though the FBI's on top of things. Keep me informed." The problem is that the FBI wasn't on top of things, even though they were warned in 1995 of an al-Qaeda plan to hijack planes and ram them into the CIA headquarters at Langley VA and the Pentagon, as well as "commercial towers" in NYC, Chicago and San Francisco. Instead of twisting the 9/11 Commission into a partisan witch hunt against the Bush administration, perhaps Richard Ben-Veniste (Clinton's defender during the Whitewater scandal), Jamie Gorelick (Clinton's deputy attorney general, who once said, "in a campaign year, Justice can't afford to be totally blind,") and Bob Kerrey should spend more time trying to find out why we didn't put the clues together to see 9/11 coming years in advance, and how we can improve our vision in the future more than President Bush has already done. Ms. Gorelick, in particular, turns out to have been partially responsible for putting up those intra-agency walls that prevented the information-sharing that might have prevented 9/11... putting her in the interesting position of having to sit in judgement of the consequences of her own actions. The Commission should focus on how to prevent future terrorist attacks, instead of wasting their time launching public attacks on members of the current administration.
However, that wouldn't fit their agenda of attacking President Bush during an election year in his greatest area of strength, an issue that should be in the forefront of all our minds -- fighting terrorism.
Posted at Wednesday, April 14, 2004 by CavalierX
Saturday, April 10, 2004
Exploding Liberal Myths 3: Outsourcing Woes
According to the Liberal school of economic thought, a free market economy is the worst thing for this country. They point to outsourcing of jobs as "proof" that President Bush is somehow a bad President, though it's been happening steadily since the signing of NAFTA by then-President Clinton in 1993. What they refuse to see is that free trade moves jobs both ways, and that the US is actually insourcing" more jobs from other countries than we send overseas... especially those manufacturing jobs that seem to be at the forefront of Democrat hand-wringing during the election campaign.
Even though the US economy is roaring like a river in full spate, the Democrats need to make it seem as though the economy is failing in some way in order to win the 2004 election. All gauges by which the economy can be measured have been indicating for months that everything was moving in the right direction, and that job growth (always the last thing to happen in a recovery) was on the way. The media complained about the "jobless recovery," as though the recovery was somehow over, not in progress. Now jobs have been created at a rate even the Left can't ignore -- 308,000 new jobs in March 2004 alone, and 205,000 during January and February (nearly double the original estimates). The Democrats have switched their arguments from "no jobs have been created" to "jobs are being sent overseas" and "the only jobs in America are burger-flipping."
Professor Michael L. Walden of N.C. State University has a slightly different perspective to offer, one that doesn't get a lot of play in the US media for some reason. "Consider what's happened in heavy manufacturing, which includes the manufacturing of vehicles, computers, electronics and other machinery. Since the mid-1990s, foreign companies have added 400,000 jobs in these industries in the U.S. Over the same time period, U.S. companies moved 300,000 jobs to foreign countries in the same sectors. The insourced jobs in these industries are also high-paying, with average compensation per employee of over $65,000." From the media soundbites, one would think that millions of jobs have been "sent overseas" with no jobs coming to American shores. Instead, the facts show that the US has increased overall jobs by a net 100,000 due to free trade.
"Any way you slice it, the world is creating or transferring more jobs to the U.S. than we are doing to the rest of the world," said Daniel T. Griswold, a trade specialist at the Cato Institute, a research organization in Washington.
India's Essel Propack Ltd., Taiwan's Teco Electric & Machinery Co. and Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems A/S all have built plants in the United States in the last year and a half.
Other non-U.S. companies announced plans to increase hiring in the United States last year including Japan's Nissan Motor Co., with 3,350 jobs in Canton, Miss.; DaimlerChrysler AG of Germany, with 2,000 at a new Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, Ala.; German appliance distributor BSH Bosch and Siemens Hausergate GmbH, with 1,300 in New Bern, N.C.; and Magna International Inc. of Canada, with as many as 800 in Bowling Green, Ky.
What outsourcing does is move the point of manufacture closer to the consumer. Among other things, this cuts international shipping costs, risks and time. Since the US is the world's largest consumer nation, goods destined to be sold here can be cheaper -- despite the increased cost of manufacturing -- to make here. If more people are buying Mercedes-Benz SL600 Roadsters here than in Germany, then by all means let Daimler-Chrysler employ Americans to make them in Alabama.
Passing laws to stop outsourcing is protectionism, which never works. "If anyone in our policy making framework thinks that by cutting off our outsourcing, we are going to encourage more insourcing and more investments in the United States, they are crazy," said Ernest Bower, president of the US-ASEAN Business Council (the largest US business group in Asia). President Bush tried protectionism in the steel industry for a short time by placing tariffs on foreign steel imports. He quickly removed the tarrifs when it became apparent that the worst part of the crisis had passed (and that they made our allies extremely unhappy).
Presidential hopeful John Kerry claims that he'll stop outsourcing of jobs (which would harm not only the US economy, but that of the entire world) by closing mysterious "tax loopholes" that give credits to "Benedict Arnold" companies for outsourcing what Kerry refers to as American jobs. The problem is that these loopholes remain largely a myth, according to James Hines, who teaches tax policy at the University of Michigan. US corporations owe the US government taxes on all profit, no matter where in the world they earn it, at the same rate of 35 percent. Companies can take a credit for taxes they pay to foreign governments, but still owe the remainder to the US. Companies can also defer taxes on foreign earnings that they invest abroad. That's a much smaller incentive than other countries' tax laws offer their corporations. For instance, German, Dutch, Canadian and Australian companies don't pay taxes on any money they earn outside their home countries. Since all those countries invest in the US, Americans are gaining about as many jobs from "tax loophole" insourcing as we lose to "tax loophole" outsourcing.
The biggest problem with this idea of altering the tax laws to stop companies from creating jobs overseas is the blind assumption that those companies would create those same jobs here in the US. The most likely outcome would be that the bulk of those jobs would never be created at all, for any workers, anywhere. Is it better to get a percentage of tax money from the overseas operations of some companies, or none at all? Is is better for US companies to employ some foreign workers, or none at all?
The real "Benedict Arnold" companies are those that move their headquarters overseas -- in the form of a rented office in Bermuda -- to avoid paying US taxes, not US-based companies with manufacturing centers in other countries. Those are the real tax cheats.
Exploding Liberal Myths 11: Home Spying Hogwash
Exploding Liberal Myths 10: The Plame Name Game
Exploding Liberal Myths 9: The Separation of Church and State
Exploding Liberal Myths 8: The Nazi Meme
Exploding Liberal Myths 7: Fidel Castro, Demigod?
Exploding Liberal Myths 6: A Less Safe Post-Iraq
Exploding Liberal Myths 5: The Moral United Nations
Exploding Liberal Myths 4: Runaway Global Warming
Exploding Liberal Myths 2: The Eeevil PATRIOT Act
Exploding Liberal Myths 1: Nigerian Uranium
Posted at Saturday, April 10, 2004 by CavalierX
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Democrats and Vietnam: An Unhealthy Obsession
There can be no doubt that there's something phenomenally wrong with the Left, when they seem to be obsessed with the only war the United States could ever be said to have lost. Their fascination with America's moment of disillusionment, defeat, and disgrace -- despite the fact that we actually won, militarily speaking -- has discolored their political stance for over thirty years. Any time there's an American in uniform with a gun anywhere in the world, it seems as though Democrats just cannot wait to begin asking the inevitable question, "Is it Vietnam yet?"
Within days of our attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Left was already rushing to compare it to Vietnam. "It's been nearly two months since the September 11 mass-slaughters, and the U.S. response more and more resembles that period when America was beginning its long slide into Vietnam," wrote Bernard Weiner, a professor of government and international politics at Western Washington University and San Diego State University. Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, fell just two days after that anniversary. (So much for Vietnam.) On 1 April 2003, he wrote about Iraq -- only two weeks after the fight began -- using nearly identical words: "Is it just me or is there a smell of Vietnam in the desert air?" Baghdad fell just over a week later. (Answer: it was just you.) The every-war-is-Vietnam meme has spread throughout the Left like a malevolent virus, until every minor setback facing our troops anywhere in the world is almost gleefully hailed as "the new Vietnam," though most of our armed forces weren't even born when Vietnam ended.
Why the fascination with Vietnam? Simple: it's the only war the LEFT ever won. And they did it -- intentionally or not -- by propping up our enemy and demoralising our own troops with vehemently anti-American rhetoric. In his book Telltale Hearts: The Origins and Impact of the Vietnam Anti-War Movement, Adam Garfinkle of the Foreign Policy Research Institute detailed how the anti-war protesters actually prolonged the Vietnam War. Their strident and visible attacks on American resolve both damaged the morale of American troops and spurred the North Vietnamese to fight on. In his 1985 memoir about the war, North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap credited protest groups -- like John Kerry's Vietnam Veterans Against the War -- for helping him achieve victory, according to Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North (Ret.). Now, the Left is doing it again.
Once again, the spectre of Vietnam is being raised -- and the memory those who fought and died there is being ruthlessly exploited -- by those who want to ignore America's successes in Iraq and see us fail, all in the name of political gain. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Ma) stated that "Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam, and this country needs a new president." It's no coincidence that it's an election year, and that Kennedy is John Kerry's biggest supporter. Given the fact that Kennedy's brother JFK sent 15,000 troops into Vietnam to preserve democracy in 1961, it's surprising that he would use such a comparison as an insult. Senator Robert Byrd (D-WVa), quavered, "Surely I am not the only one who hears echoes of Vietnam in this development." What's most disturbing to me, however, is the fact that Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the small but violent group of Iranian-backed anti-American religious fanatics attacking Coalition troops in Baghdad, made a statement which eerily echoed those of Senators Kennedy and Byrd, and on the same day.
"I call upon the American people to stand beside their brethren, the Iraqi people, who are suffering an injustice by your rulers and the occupying army, to help them in the transfer of power to honest Iraqis," al-Sadr said in a statement from his office in the southern city of Najaf. "Otherwise, Iraq will be another Vietnam for America and the occupiers."
Meanwhile, John Kerry attacked President Bush for shutting down al-Sadr's revolution-inciting newspaper Hawza, calling it "a legitimate voice in Iraq" (before taking back the word "legitimate"). Kerry then went on to say of al-Sadr, "he has clearly taken on a far more radical tone in recent days and aligned himself with both Hamas and Hezbollah, which is a sort of terrorist alignment." Sort of?
When the Democrats and Islamo-fascist terrorists are singing from the same hymn book, and the Democratic candidate for President can't even recognise terrorist groups as terrorists, how can anyone help but wonder who's really on America's side?
Posted at Wednesday, April 07, 2004 by CavalierX