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of people freed from totalitarian dictatorships
by precision use of American military force
under George W. Bush:
million in just two years
of people freed from totalitarian dictatorships
by anti-American Bush-bashing
terrorist-appeasing whining elitists:
...The problem seems to
me to be the definition of "free speech".
Liberals define it as anything they want to say
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....
Cavalier's First Theorem:
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.
Cavalier's Second Theorem:
Liberals are just Socialists who want to be loved... then again, Socialists are just Communists who lack the courage of their convictions.
Cavalier's Third Theorem:
Any strongly moral, hawkish or pro-American statement by a Liberal will inevitably be followed by a "but."
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Americans...Again - 07/09/03
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It! - 07/24/03
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Mr. Stensrud - 07/30/03
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Liberals? - 08/02/03
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Nothing - 08/30/03
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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
Monday, April 05, 2004
Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical anti-American cleric who has been preaching hatred and violence against Americans since Saddam fell, may reap what he's been sowing. His fanatical devotion to creating a theocracy in Iraq -- though he really doesn't have a very large following -- will hopefully come to an end at last, leaving the Iraqis better off than they would have been if we'd cut and run the way most Liberals have been demanding we do.
That's not going to happen. All of America's detractors, at home and abroad, really ought to have figured that out by now.
It's possible that closing his hate-spewing newspaper Hawza and arresting his aide Mustafa al-Yacoubi (accused of knifing al-Sadr's rival Abdel-Majid al-Khoei to death) were specifically done to drive al-Sadr into action now. It's critically important to remove these disruptive elements from Iraq while we still hold overall power and have the freedom to act, not to mention that we have fresh soldiers on hand from the ongoing troop rotation. Large military operations should be completed before the heat of the Iraqi summer sets in if possible, and when we have the freedom to set the timetable we should do so. We've got to clean out this extremist rat's nest and the one in Fallujah before we turn power over to the Iraqi people at the end of June. Carving out a place in the Middle East will be difficult enough for a fledgling democracy to do without this sort of internal strife erupting. Even the other main religious leaders in Iraq have asked al-Sadr to halt the violence, which he has refused to do. Neutralising this threat to Iraq's future won't be easy, and will give the media more ammunition with which to attack President Bush, but it must be done. (Watch the pious hand-wringing at ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN over the possibility of a widespread "Shi'a uprising" and "civil war".)
The fact that an Iraqi judge, backed by the Governing Council, issued the arrest warrant for al-Sadr sends two important messages, though the American media isn't recieving, as usual. First, no one in the new Iraq should be above the law -- not even powerful clerics. Second, a plurality of the Iraqi people (49%) want a democracy, not a theocracy (21%). Certainly they don't want a government imposed by a gang of fanatical thugs controlled by a man who declared himself the "striking arm" of Hamas and quotes the leader of Hezbollah. That alone puts al-Sadr squarely in the terrorists' camp... and on the wrong side of US policy toward terrorists and their supporters.
Was al-Sadr actually behind the waves of terrorist violence the media has reported so gleefully of late? We may never find out for certain. It's good policy, either way, to turn the governance of Iraq over to its people as free of terrorism and violent thugs as possible. Arresting Muqtada al-Sadr, like toppling Saddam Hussein, would ultimately serve the Iraqi people and give them a better, cleaner new start in the world. Removing a self-proclaimed terrorist who incites violence against Americans and is trying to institute an Iranian-style theocracy can't hurt us any, either.
Removing al-Sadr from power is a win-win solution for everyone except those who want to see America fail, in fact.
Posted at Monday, April 05, 2004 by CavalierX
Saturday, April 03, 2004
A lengthy anti-Bush attack email is apparently making the rounds, titled "Bush's Resume." It contains a string of lies, innuendo and half-truths so numerous as to be difficult to answer, due mainly to the sheer number of them (standard Liberal "Blitzkrieg" technique). I've received this garbage in my various inboxes several times in the last month, and thought I'd devote some time to an answer. Some of these attacks have been answered by me before, and some answers have been suggested by friends.
GEORGE W. BUSH
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20520
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been "lost" and is not available.
George Bush did get a DUI at the age of 30. And he paid the penalty that went along with it -- which in Maine, in 1976, was a 30 day suspended license. Looks like he "did the time for the crime", unlike people such as Ted Kennedy, who escaped prosecution for drunken driving and manslaughter by using family connections. Also unlike Ted Kennedy, President Bush no longer touches alcohol.
I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.
President Bush was never AWOL from the National Guard. This is an unsubstantiated rumor that has been presented as fact by his detractors. He missed some meetings but made up the time. His records have been made public in full. He recieved his Honorable Discharge after completing the necessary time and then some. The unit he volunteered to join was partly deployed in Vietnam at the time. He even volunteered to fly in Vietnam himself, but the program was winding down at that time and he didn't have enough experience. He never refused a drug test; he simply skipped a physical at a time when he wasn't flying anyway. A lot of Vietnam veterans wonder, however, how Kerry managed to rack up a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, and three Purple Hearts in only four months... without missing a day of duty from the wounds. Those records, unlike President Bush's, have never been made public.
I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a cheerleader.
Graduating from Yale at all is impressive. President Bush went on to graduate from Harvard TOO. How many have done that? Also, Bush scored 1206 on his SATs -- but got better grades than Al Gore. (Average SAT score is about 1000.) Oh, and Bush played Rugby.
PAST WORK EXPERIENCE:
I ran for US Congress and lost. I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.
Abraham Lincoln also lost the first time he ran for the legislature, plus he lost to Stephen Douglas when running for the Senate, so this is a rather weak attack. The company, Arbusto, did not go bankrupt; it was purchased by Spectrum 7 Energy Corporation.
I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money.
George Bush put together a GROUP to purchase the Rangers, the same way most teams in baseball have a group of investors. He was only a managing partner. Most cities own the stadiums and the land that go with them. The city is the one that used eminent domain and "took" the land.
With the help of my father and our friends in the oil industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas.
If that's some sort of drive-by charge of voter fraud, it's a rather weak and unsubstantiated one. Name a candidate for any office that hasn't accepted campaign contributions.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS GOVERNOR OF TEXAS:
I changed Texas pollution laws to favour power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union. During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America.
Texas is not the most polluted state in the Union. According to the American Lung Association's State of the Air 2001 report, California still led the charts . In Texas, the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria area ranked as the fifth most-polluted metropolitan area. Both Laredo, TX and Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito, TX, however, made the list of the 20 metropolitan areas with the least ozone air pollution. The American Lung Association State of the Air 2003 Report states that 6 of the top 10 most polluted areas are in California and only 1 is in Texas. Of the top 25 only 2 are in Texas.
I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.
Texas is not bankrupt and has actually seen a growth in the state income. In 1995 during his first year as governor Texas had total revenue of $38.68 Billion. In 2000 Texas state revenue was $49.84 billion... a 28% increase in a 5 year time frame. Each year the revenue to the State increased. This is an average increase of 5.2% per year. As always, a tax cut will increase revenue to the taxing authority by increasing the tax base through expansion.
I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history.
George Bush followed the law by signing execution orders for death row prisoners. These were prisoners who were convicted by a jury and exhausted all appeals. They were sentenced to death for cold blood murders and rapes.
With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after losing by over 500,000 votes.
Jeb Bush had nothing to do with the recount in Florida. Florida State Law dictates the procedure to have a recount. George H. Bush only nominated 2 Supreme Court Justices. There are 9 total Supreme Court Justices. All Supreme Court Justices must be approved by Congress. No President simply "appoints" someone to the Supreme Court. Every recount -- even the ones done by the news services after the Supreme court finally stopped the endless parade of official recounts -- showed that BUSH DEFEATED GORE, even when the military votes were thrown out (as the Democrats tried to do). The United States of America has an Electoral College for electing the President of the United States. The total popular vote does not matter. That is in our Constitution, to prevent hiughly-populated areas from dominating the rest of the country.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PRESIDENT:
I am the first President in US history to enter office with a criminal record.
George Bush was convicted of a DUI. That hardly constitutes a "criminal record" as stated. This is another misleading attack on Bush.
I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week.
The United States of American went to Afghanistan to defeat an Enemy that attacked the United States of America. Remember 9/11? Saddam Hussein was a mass murder who had killed over 2 million people and used WMD to kill 100,000 Kurds. For 12 years he had violated the cease-fire agreement he signed with the US in 1991, which obligated us to enforce it. His forces continually attacked US planes patrolling the no-fly zones. Saddam openly supported Hamas suicide bombers and had ties to al-Qaeda going back to their formation, including being behind the 1993 WTC bombing. Iraq is a better place today and the U.S. is more secure by removing the corrupt leader of Iraq that admitted to developing and keeping WMDs. The UN sanctioned Iraq and after 4 years of non compliance the U.S. acted according to the cease-fire agreement Saddam signed after the Gulf War -- resumption of hostilities if Iraq did not comply with the UN. The cost of a billion dollars per week is the cost we would have spent for the military whether or not they are in Iraq. There is not an additional billion dollars per week being spent.
I spent the US surplus and effectively bankrupted the US Treasury.
There never was a US surplus. The tax cuts did not reduce the incoming revenues to the Federal government. In 2001 the revenue to the Federal government increased by $32 billion. That was after the Bush tax cut. The tax cut was retroactive to the 1st of the year. This is a 1.52% increase in revenue. The US is far from being bankrupt.
I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in US history.
The Congress approves all budgets. The fact that the Congress spends more than what comes in is not quite the Presidentís fault. Checks and balances, remember? The deficit is only a small percentage of the Gross Domestic Product, smaller percentage-wise than the deficit run by Ronald Reagan.
I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period. I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.
The record 12 month period is for 2001 with most taking place in the first 6 months. Bush took office in January of 2001. The recession began in November 2000. The damage to people filing bankruptcy in this period was done prior to President Bush taking office. You don't file bankruptcy unless you have been in trouble for some time. Bush was in office when they filed but it was under Clinton that they amassed the debt.
I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the US stock market.
The U.S. economy was in a decline in the last 6 months of 2000, before Bush was elected. The drop in the stock market was worsened by a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Again, remember 9/11? The stock market has recovered to early 2001 levels and has increased 55% in the past year and is up 8% from December 2003 to February 2004.
In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.
The 2 million is not an accurate number. There were job losses during 2001. Most of these were do to an economy that was slowing down before Bush took office, and over a million jobs alone were lost as a direct result of 9/11. The job loss rate is not worsening every month; jobs are increasing every month. We are coming out of a recession and the projection continue to show an improving economy. Also, the low figures are only found in the Payroll Survey, which only records jobs at large and/or established companies. The Household Survey, which records farm jobs, small companies, new companies and the self-employed, shows a net increase of 700,000 jobs as of January 2004. In the month of March 2004 alone, 308,000 new jobs were created. The economy is beginning a boom cycle that will last for years.
I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in US history. My "poorest millionaire," Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.
Actually, President Clinton had the "wealthiest" cabinet in U.S. history. The tanker was built in 1993 and it is Chevron's practice to name tankers after members of the board of directors which Condoleezza Rice was from 1991 until 2001. The tanker was named for her long before she became National Security Advisor.
I set the record for most campaign fundraising trips by a US President.
This is simply not true. Actually Clinton did the most fund raising both away from and at the White House. Remember the stays in the Lincoln Bedroom for donations? Morning coffees?
I am the all-time US and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.
Corporations donate, on average, 42% to the Democrats and 57% to the Republicans. If the President is the record holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations remember that the Democrats have also set a new record for receiving corporate campaign donations.
Unions, on the other hand, have donated $474 million to political parties since 1990. Of that, 93% has gone to the Democrats and 6% to the Republicans. That means that on average Unions donate $33.9 million per year to the Democrats and $2.56 million to the Republicans. Lawyers & lobbyists have donated 69% to the Democrats and 31% to the Republicans. I think thatís where your bias is.
And why do corporations prefer Republicans? Because Republicans generally create a more business-friendly environment, while Democrats are more business-hostile. And in a capitalist society, guess which is better for the country?
My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in US history, Enron. My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the US Supreme Court during my election decision. I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution. More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history.
Enron officials are being tried by the courts now. Enron's accounting practices were a result of legislation passed by the former Clinton Administration. Bush actually proposed the legislation that changed the laws to prevent that from happening again. Let's not forget that the massive corporate scandals that have been uncovered during the Bush Administration actually took place during the 90's... during the Clinton administration. The bit about the Supreme Court is just more unsubstantiated drive-by mudslinging.
I presided over the biggest energy crisis in US history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.
Bush did preside over the largest energy crisis due to the former administration not having a competent energy policy and doing nothing to promote electrical generation or transmission. He did not intervene because the courts handle that situation. That is the law.
I presided over the highest gasoline prices in US history.
Gasoline prices are the highest they have ever been... but so are U.S. wages. When Clinton was President he too presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history. The US is a country that runs on capitalism: Supply and Demand. If the Demand for gas goes up so does the price. The demand for gasoline has never been higher. Americans love to drive and so the demand is high. Also contributing to the high gas prices are the taxes added by the states to each gallon of gas. There is a 18.4 cent Federal tax on each gallon of gas and in Pennsylvania an additional 25.9 cent tax per gallon. Thatís 44.3 cents per gallon, or 37% tax on a gallon of gas that costs $1.62.
I changed the US policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
This is simply untrue. US law does not allow a person convicted of a felony to obtain a US contract. Bush did not and can not change this without an Act of Congress.
I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any President in US history.
No administration officials are felons. This is also a matter of law.
I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.
After the failings of the bureaucracy of the CIA and FBI leading to 9/11, President Bush created the Department of Homeland Security to protect the US by allowing agencies to work better together. Congress has the ultimate goal of approving the formation of a new cabinet position and did so overwhelmingly. Also, the use of the word "Ministry" betrays the foreign source of this attack email... we don't HAVE Ministries here.
I've broken more international treaties than any President in US history.
President Bush has not broken any treaties. A treaty must be approved by the US Congress. Enforcement of a treaty is also the responsibility of Congress. If Bush does break a treaty it would have to be with the consent of Congress. The ABM Treaties were signed with the USSR, which is no longer in existence. Bush also has not agreed to new treaties such as the Kyoto protocols, which have more stringent rules for the US and other industrial countries than for Third World countries. Russia also refused to ratify the Kyoto protocols, which would nearly cripple industry in both countries.
I am the first President in US history to have the United Nations remove the US from the Human Rights Commission.
Simple proof, in fact, that the UN has become nothing more than a forum for attacking America. The United States was not a member of the Human Rights Commission for 2002 only. The Human Rights Commission has members such as China, Libya and Uganda. The latter has been condemned by the Human Rights Commission for a February 21, 2004 massacre of 190 people, and Libya was put in charge of the Human Rights Commission. China is also a persistent violator of basic human rights.
I withdrew the US from the World Court of Law.
The US was never part of the World Court. The World Court of Law would have superceded your Constitutional Rights. The Bill of Rights would no longer have any meaning, nor would your status as an American citizen. Joining the World Court would violate the Constitution. If you want the World Court of Law, move out of America.
I refused to allow inspector's access to US "prisoners of war" detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.
The Geneva Convention was followed and inspectors were allowed to see the detainees at Guantanomo Bay. They technically were not subject to the rules of the Geneva Convention because they were not "Prisoners of War", not having fought under the flag of a country.
I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 US election).
This is the United States of America. Our election laws are policed by our people and our courts, not the U.N. The U.N. has no authority here.
I set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any President since the advent of television.
That is simply not true. Plenty of press conferences were scheduled, but not for the President, who had his press secretary keep the public informed. How does the President not being on television more hurt the country in any way?
I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period.
This is not true. While away from the White House any President does not get away from the work. With briefings and other meetings, and using modern technology any President will work at least 3-4 hours a day and is in touch 24/7 while on "vacation". Remember the job of President is 24/7.
After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst security failure in US history.
The use of the word "presided" is key here. George Bush was in office less than 8 months at the time of the attacks of 9/11. All the failures in the intelligence community have been found to date back to the early 90's. President Clinton is the one who failed by not only cutting the U.S. intelligence gathering capabilities, but also not allowing the FBI, CIA and NSA to share information. Prior to 9/11, Clinton presided over the worst domestic terrorist attack at Oklahoma City.
I garnered the most sympathy for the US after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the US the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.
Most of that "sympathy" was obviously false -- real allies don't work against you when you need them. The United States does not allow anyone other than the United States to be in charge of the security of its people. If France, Germany and Russia don't like it... tough. Remember that China, Russia and France were the ones with the big oil exploration, oil equipment and military equipment supply contracts with Iraq. No amount of "diplomacy" would have gotten them on our side. Our strong stance on foreign policy caused countries like Libya to fully halt and disclose their WMD programs, and Iran to be willing to work with UN inspectors. It also brought North Korea to the table for multilateral talks.
I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for protests against any person in the history of mankind.
The 15 million people is an exaggeration These numbers were from the "organizers" -- that is, International A.N.S.W.E.R., which is funded and run by the World Workers Party... formerly the World Communist Party. The official count is substantially less by an order of magnitude. We are the United States of America... not the United States of the Mobs of the World.
I am the first President in US history to order an unprovoked pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of US citizens, and the world community.
The U.N under Resolution 1441 dated November 8, 2002 and approved unanimously by the security council, gave Iraq 30 days to comply with previous resolution to disclose all information of and all inspection of any and all facilities that may possibly be used in the production or distribution of WMDs. Failure to do so would constitute a breach of 1441, and by extension, all the resolutions going back to the original cease-fire, resolution 687. They did not comply. We made them. U.S. citizens supported the use of force in Iraq . A Washington Post Poll in December of 2002 show that U.S. Citizens were in favor 62% to 35%. A January 2003 Fox Poll showed us in favor 67% to 25%. A CNN-Time Poll of the same time showed 60% in favor 33% against. The numbers showed that the American people were 2-1 in favor of the use of force in Iraq. As far as the rest of the world: we are Americans and will act in the best interest of America first.
I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families - in wartime.
This is a false statement. In fact, in Bushís first three years in office, funding for the Veterans Administration increased by a full 27%. If Bush's 2005 budget is approved, funding for his full four-year term will amount to an increase of 37.6%. Duty benefits were not cut.
In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our British friends.
Bush never lied. The British Intelligence Agencies, the CIA, The Senate Intelligence Committee (which John Edwards and Dianne Feinstein are members), The UN and the NSA all reached the same conclusion: Iraq has WMDs. Iraq admitted having most of what the UN stated they had, but refused to turn it over or prove it had been destroyed. Bush never "blamed" the British. He stated that they came to the same conclusion. He quoted a British report in the 2003 State of the Union Address, and rightfully gave the source.
I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.
71% of people that were at a protest in Europe against the Iraq war had that view; that's where the number came from. Thatís like asking the people at a salad bar if they like beef.
I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a WMD.
The Tactical Bunker Buster is not classified as a WMD. Critics of nuclear weapons made the charge.
I have so far failed to fulfil my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice.
We're still looking, though the hunt had to slow down over the winter. Weíll find him. Hopefully alive like Saddam Hussein so he can be tried for his crimes. Bin Laden had over a decade to set up safe hidey-holes, caches and supporters worldwide, since the Clinton administration never tried to stop him, even after the first WTC bombing ('93) and more al-Qaeda attacks on Khobar towers ('96), Tanzania and Kenya embassies ('98), and the USS Cole ('00).
RECORDS AND REFERENCES:
All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view.
The records are sealed by Texas state law passed before Bush was Governor.
All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
Again, Bush did not seal his records. The law did. Remember that Bill Clinton never unsealed his records and this was never an issue with the left.
All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.
This obviously refers to the "charge" that a map of Iraq was seen at a meeting of the Cheney Energy Commission. They looked at information available in the public domain about the world's oil supply? What is the Energy commission supposed to look at, locations of Spanish gold mines? Alien spacecraft landings?
PLEASE CONSIDER MY EXPERIENCE WHEN VOTING IN 2004.
Oh, yes, I hope everyone does. And I hope they consider John Kerry's record too... but that's another email.
Posted at Saturday, April 03, 2004 by CavalierX
Thursday, April 01, 2004
For the past year, Iraq has been under the gentlest occupation in the history of warfare. Most Iraqis have responded well to that, genuinely grateful to have been liberated from the decades-long dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and his Ba'athist thugs. The rape rooms and torture chambers are closed for business, and the mass graves are being exhumed instead of filled. Most Iraqis, according to a recent poll conducted by Oxford Research, have a better life now without Saddam, and look forward to even more improvements in the future, including the chance to participate in a democratic form of government for the first time. However... one area of Iraq, known as the "Sunni Triangle," has never felt nor acted as though they were "liberated." This is the area in which Saddam was born, and one which he never brutalised as he did the rest of the country. Since the day Saddam abandoned Iraq to crawl into a spider hole and pull it in after himself, Coalition forces have treated the Sunni Triangle with kid gloves. They have even gone so far as to stay out of the town, allowing Fallujah more autonomy than any other area except the Kurdish territories. It's time for that to end.
In a brutal yet cowardly attack, a mob of Fallujah inhabitants murdered and mutilated four American civilians who were setting up security for a food shipment to the town. Shouting defiance of the Coalition, they dismembered, disgraced and burned the bodies -- all violations of Islamic law, incidentally. Many Iraqis were shocked at the barbarity. The bodies were dragged through the streets, obviously intended to invoke memories of Mogadishu. On 3 October 1993, 18 American servicemen were killed in the capital city of Somalia in an incident which inspired the film "Black Hawk Down." The result was that the ragged citizens of Mogadishu were able to force the United States of America to run away when then-President Clinton ordered them to evacuate rather than suffer more casualties. As Osama bin Laden said in 1998, "The youth were surprised at the low morale of the American soldiers and realized more than before that the America soldiers are paper tigers. After a few blows, they ran in defeat..." Dan Rather told Larry King, "I know that Saddam Hussein -- this is not speculative -- I know that Saddam Hussein's favorite movie was 'Black Hawk Down.' He watched it several times a week in the period preceding the American attack, because he was saying to himself, this is not made up, he was saying to himself, that's what we can do here." That is precisely what Saddam Hussein taught his people, and precisely what must NOT happen ever again. In the Arab world, it is fatal to be percieved as weak.
The only possible response to this atrocity is to make Fallujah into an example for the rest of the Sunni Triangle. The Coalition must engage in a full military occupation of the town, including martial law, zero-tolerance curfews, and the systematic, house-by-house search for and arrest of every single adult seen in those horrible photographs and videos. Those who attack Coalition forces -- not to mention civilians both Iraqi and American -- must be removed from circulation altogether, no matter what the rest of the world may think. If the inhabitants of Fallujah want to continue the war, we should give them what they ask for. If we ignore their attacks, turn the other cheek, and give in to their demands, we only prove Saddam and Osama right, and embolden the murderers further.
Thirty years of ruling Iraq as part of a totalitarian dictatorship have hardened the Saddam loyalists and molded them to scorn weakness. We can only show these insurgents mercy after showing them our strength -- strength is all that they respect. Any other course of action will only "prove" to them that they can continue their attacks with impunity.
The Sunni Triangle is the source of most of the internal strife in Iraq. If we don't pacify that area before we hand over power to the new Iraqi government, how are they supposed to deal with it?
Posted at Thursday, April 01, 2004 by CavalierX
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Can the UN Be Saved From Itself?
The United Nations was founded in 1948 upon a flawed premise: that all nations would willingly work together for the betterment of the entire world. In the past few years alone, we have seen the consequences of believing that falsehood we told ourselves for over fifty years. Perhaps the time has come at last to examine the UN and its role, and how well -- if at all -- it functions in the real world.
Possibly the worst failing of the UN is its insistence that any group which can claim a territory should receive all the benefits and deference due a nation as old as Great Britain, as powerful as the United States, as populous as China or as large as the former Soviet Union. This has given gangs of thugs -- Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath party, for instance -- the assurance that if they could just hold a nation hostage, by whatever means, they would be treated as its legitimate government. No one would be allowed to invade them. UN peacekeepers might even help to quell internal uprisings. In the same way that members of the Mafia would use their ill-gotten wealth to "go legit" as honest businessmen, any gang leader who managed to fix an election or cow the populace of a small country could be treated as the equal of the President of the United States. The United Nations itself has given hope to the ambitions of the world's most ruthless dictators.
How ridiculous is it for Libya, while itself under stricture for human rights abuses, to head the UN Human Rights Committee? Did it make any sense for -- of all places in the world -- Saddam Hussein's Iraq to chair the UN Disarmament Conference in 2003? Yet this is precisely how matters stood a year ago. Apologists for the UN say that everything is equal, that all committee chairs move among the members in alphabetical rotation, and that their "fitness" to head various offices is never questioned. That's precisely my point! Perhaps a nation's worthiness to head UN committees or conferences should be questioned before they are handed such responsibilities.
Liberals, in general, love the United Nations for three reasons. First, they consider it a "world government", although I certainly never got the chance to vote for my representative. (As a citizen of a Republic, however, I still have more of a say than would residents of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, or any of the dozens of dictatorships that populate the UN.) Second, the UN gives France unearned power that they would never have on the world stage of their own merit, in the form of a permanent seat on the Security Council and a veto. Third, if the UN was a world government, the power of the United States to act in its own defense would be curtailed, which all Liberals seem to agree would be a good thing. The fact that a defenseless USA would not be loved by the world any more than a strong USA is doesn't register, it seems.
The United Nations has failed in its responsibilities time and time again. Thousands of UN peacekeepers stood and watched as 800,000 Rwandans were butchered right before their eyes in 1994. More than five years after the UN took over the administration of Kosovo, ethnic violence is still going on! According to Human Rights Watch:
U.N. police indicate that most of the violence is being directed at the ethnic Serb minority. Unidentified attackers have burned churches, homes, public offices and at least one school. Particularly disturbing are reports of arson attacks on newly built homes of Serbs who had recently returned to Kosovo following their forced displacement in previous years.
The attacks bear similarity to the campaign of arson, abduction, intimidation and killing directed at Serbs and Roma in the summer of 1999. This campaign of violence forced 200,000 Serbs and thousands of Roma from the province. Human Rights Watch documented the violence in an August 1999 report, ďAbuses against Serbs and Roma in the New Kosovo.Ē
Worst of all has been the utter failure of the United Nations in Iraq. The oil-for-food program, instituted in 1996, functioned as a piggy bank for Saddam Hussein to the tune of over ten billion dollars. The UN itself, meantime, was raking in a percentage of every transaction under the program, socking away over a billion dollars in hidden UN bank accounts. What kind of interest does a billion dollars generate, and who is receiving it? UN Treasurer Suzanne Bishopric won't say. Despite the sanctions strictly regulating what kind of equipment was sold to Iraq, UN member nations Russia and China sold military equipment to Saddam, and France shipped Saddam spare parts for Mirage F-1 jets and Gazelle attack helicopters to Iraq, despite the sanctions and the impending war. High-ranking politicians and advisors in those three countries and many more were revealed as the recipients of oil vouchers from their friend Saddam. (Among those names was Benton Savan, the man who was in charge of the oil-for-food program.) France, Russia and China have led the corruption of the United Nations, which can no longer be considered a neutral body (if indeed it ever could have been). It remains to be seen whether the damage can be repaired.
One of the things that needs to be done to "fix" the United Nations is change a few simple words in its charter. Member nations -- which means, of course, all nations and/or groups of thugs who control a country by force -- have the right to act in their own defense. Article 51 of the UN Charter states, "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security." Keep in mind that when this charter was written, "armed attack" was a perfect description of warfare. Armies sweeping across the landscape, tank columns rolling through the countryside, waves of bombers smashing cities to rubble -- that's what an armed attack was understood to mean in 1948. However, is funneling funds to suicide bombers an "armed attack" on the country in which they explode themselves? No... but it's an act of aggression, surely. Is a nation handing vials of anthrax to a terrorist group technically an "armed attack" against the country that subsequently suffers an anthrax outbreak? Same answer. How about a nation training small groups of religious fanatics in hijacking techniques, using only small knives? Same answer again. Iraq certainly engaged in two of these activities, and would almost certainly have engaged in the third had Saddam not been removed from power. Yet the Liberals -- a year after the war that ended Saddam's misrule -- still wail that Saddam had not "attacked" us, and so the United States was not "permitted" to defend itself under the UN Charter.
If we only added a few words after "armed attack" to reflect the realities of the world in the 21st century, it would go a long way towards making the UN more relevant to the necessities of the modern age. Inserting the words, "or support of terrorist groups" into Article 51 would allow UN members states to defend themselves against modern methods of attack. Even if one is willing to ignore evidence of links to the terrorist group that bombed the World Trade Center 1993 and flew two passenger jets into it (and one into the Pentagon) in 2001 among others, Saddam's shooting at US and British aircraft over Iraq's no-fly zones and attempt to assassinate a former US President were "acts of aggression" against the United States even by the narrowest definition. (Many Liberals complain that the attempted assassination of George H. W. Bush was too long ago to care about, the same as Saddam's mass murders at Halabja, but I've never seen any mention of a statute of limitations on either crime.)
Don't expect to see the al-Qaedan Navy sweep up the James River and capture Richmond. This is a new war, in a new century, and must be fought in new ways. If our old friends won't help us, and our old institutions no longer serve our needs, we must either be prepared to find new ones, or be prepared to lose the war.
Posted at Tuesday, March 30, 2004 by CavalierX
Saturday, March 27, 2004
How Fast Should We Connect Those Dots?
The Left continues their hypocritical attacks on the Bush administration, some of the American people continue to take them seriously, and rational people continue to have trouble understanding why. One one hand, President Bush is under attack for not "connecting the dots" quickly enough to prevent 9/11. On the other, he's being attacked for connecting the dots too quickly regarding Iraq. Which is it?
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred, the Left has been trying to find a way to place all the blame for not preventing them on President Bush. The previous administration had nearly eight years after the first al-Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 to hunt down Osama bin Laden, but receives a permanent pass from the Left. It's the eight months immediately preceding 9/11 that draws cries of mock outrage from the Left. They deliberately ignore the fact that the 9/11 attack was planned for three years before it occurred, and may have been only the first attack of three that were planned. (Could the wish to avoid giving out confirmation of this knowledge be why Condoleeza Rice and President Bush can't testify in public before the 9/11 commission?) No, the Left is trying with all their resources to blame President Bush for "allowing" 9/11 to happen, holding him responsible for not connecting the dots quickly enough to prevent it.
From the outcry, we can clearly understand that he Left insists that the President must be able to make connections between seemingly disparate events among the sea of such events that are presented to him every day. They seem to be saying that the President must make decisions to protect Americans from disaster before it can strike, is that right? They insist on a proactive policy of defense... or do they?
At the same time the Left is vilifying President Bush for not acting quickly enough to prevent 9/11, the same people are also reviling him for acting too quickly when he prevented a possible worse attack from Iraq, which could have involved terrorists delivering biochemical weapons. They insist that he "should have waited to be sure." Well, exactly how sure should he have waited to be? Iraq had been on the State Supporter of Terrorism list for years. Al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Mudíab al-Zarqawi fled to Iraq after the Taliban was overthrown in Afghanistan. He even wrote to al-Qaeda leadership, complaining that "There is no doubt that our field of movement is shrinking and the grip around the throat of the Mujahidin has begun to tighten. With the spread of the army and police, our future is becoming frightening." Every intelligence source in the world stated that Saddam had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction, and was working to make more. The 1997 UNSCOM report on Saddam's weapons -- the last one before his stonewalling caused them to leave the country -- went into great detail about what they believed he still had hidden. The last UNMOVIC report from March of 2003 -- three months after the final deadline the UN set for Saddam's full disclosure -- was full of such items as "Based on all the available evidence, the strong presumption is that about 10,000 litres of anthrax was not destroyed and may still exist." Saddam had, by 1998, completely thrown off the yoke of UN inspections, and was slowly but surely working to get the UN sanctions lifted. He even had the willing help of several key members of the UN Security Council -- France, Germany, Russia and China had extremely lucrative oil and arms deals with Saddam, and all had been granted oil rights in the west Qurna and other unexploited oil fields in return for lobbying to lift the UN sanctions on Iraq. There was absolutely no chance that these members of the United Nations would have given the United States a "permission slip" to remove Saddam Hussein from power without another terrorist attack taking place. Preferably one in which the terrorist cell leader left a confession -- hand-signed by Saddam, with his fingerprints all over it -- at the scene of the crime.
How quickly should a President act to prevent an attack by an enemy who specialises in hiding and striking in the dark? Our enemies in the War on Terror won't be coming across a border with tanks and massed hordes. Because this is not a "conventional" war, John Kerry wants to return to a purely reactive style of fighting terrorism, which didn't do much to prevent 9/11. On Kerry's own campaign web site, his "Plan to Make America Stronger and Safer" can be found. Under the heading "Bringing 21st Century Information Technology To The War On Terror," we can find Kerry's plan for preventing terrorists, backed by rogue nations, from carrying out further attacks on American soil. Its three basic steps are as follows:
- Assuring First-Responders Can Communicate in an Attack
- Sharing Information With Appropriate State and Local Officials
- Cutting Down on False Identification
Checking the identification of terrorists after they're already here? Spending more money on first responders so they can clean up the bodies faster after an attack? What kind of prevention is this? Under other parts of his "plan," Kerry lists such proactive ideas as "Calling on the Private Sector to Help Bring Technological Innovations to the War on Terrorism," "Protect Private Infrastructure," and "Creating a New Community Defense Service." Is a new version of the 1950's Civil Defense going to stop rogue nations from harboring, training and equipping terrorists to attack America, possibly with weapons of mass destruction? Would Moammar Ghaddafi be as frightened by the thought of firefighters with better radios in NYC as he was of soldiers with better guns in his backyard? President Bush wants to take the War on Terror to the enemy. John Kerry wants to take it to Radio Shack. Better equipment for first responders is necessary, but it's not where the forefront of the War on Terror ought to be. My favorite part of the Kerry plan for fighting the War on Terror in defensive mode is this:
- Enlisting the National Guard in Homeland Security
Homeland security should be a central mission of the National Guard. Guard members should be trained to serve as personnel in the event of an attack, helping evacuate or quarantine people, assisting in medical units; and helping communities set up and execute plans.
Could there be any clearer indication that John Kerry would change the War on Terror into a barbed-wire-and-bunker defensive war, only reacting to attacks after it's too late? The horrific events of 9/11 have taught us -- most of us, anyway -- that there is no "degree" of being too late when it comes to preventing terrorism. An instant of time -- a single terrorist getting through the fences -- is all it would take to devastate an entire city. We cannot wait to connect those dots until they represent casualties. The hypocrisy of the Left is that they want to attack President Bush for not preventing 9/11 while simultaneously attacking him for preventing another potential attack from Iraq... or from any country that sponsors and supports terrorism.
Only those who can afford to lose choose to fight a defensive war.
Posted at Saturday, March 27, 2004 by CavalierX