November 18 2004
WHAT MOTIVATES FRIENDS AND ENEMIES: A couple of
months ago a good friend of mine explained to me why he
was going to vote for John Kerry. He talked about a number
of issues that motivated his decision (one of which was
an intense dislike of George W. Bush, by the way) but one
of the main reasons for his vote is that he thought John
Kerry could lead a more effective War on Terror by restoring
our alliances around the globe.
has pissed off everybody in the world" he said. "We
can't do it alone. We need our friends and allies in the
international community to come together out of a shared
sense of responsibility and goodwill to fight terror around
was (and still remains) a very popular view among liberals
in the United States. The problem is that more and more
we're seeing this is an unlikely, if not utterly unrealistic
truth is that if you sat down to compose a list of countries
of significant influence who are responsible, motivated
by "goodwill," and committed to leading a fight
against terrorism that list would be depressingly short.
A corresponding list of influential countries who are either
against, indifferent, or not committed to fighting terrorism
would be much longer.
unfortunate reality is that the only feelings shared among
many countries in the "international community"
these days seem to be greed, envy, corruption, and self
interest. I forgot anti-Semitism.
United Nations, the epicenter of the "world community"
and self-proclaimed arbiter of international justice, is
mired in a mushrooming scandal so
big and so thoroughly rotten that it threatens (or at
least should threaten) the organization's very existence.
of our biggest "allies", France
are up to their eyeballs in the scam that kept Hussein in
power and helped spread terror throughout the Middle East,
all the while fattening their coffers. Lord only knows what
other shenanigans have been going on behind closed doors
and behind our backs on the east side of Manhattan.
just last week much of the "international community"
fell silent in honor of Yasir Arafat, unrepentant terrorist
turned Nobel Peace Prize winner. Even though the UN, Europe,
and the Arab world continue to bemoan the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict as the principal grievance of Muslims everywhere,
history has already certified Arafat as an egomaniac who
brushed aside every opportunity to lead the Palestinian
people to peace and self-determination, leaving them to
live in squalor and despair while taking a good bit off
the top for the comfort of him and his wife.
criticize President Bush's policy of spreading democracy
in the Middle East as too idealistic and not based in reality.
Perhaps. But at the very least it is a forward-looking,
optimistic vision designed to recognize and deal with short-term
threats and to establish a framework for long-term peace
the Democrats offer as a policy is even more idealistic
(not to mention more dangerous): relying on the responsible
action and the "goodwill" of the United Nations
and European allies like France to help battle terrorists
around the globe.
might go so far as to characterize this policy as "reality-free"
given that the United Nations and certain European countries
continue to demonstrate they don't even understand the nature
of the conflict we're in.
weeks ago Kofi
Annan lectured President Bush, British Prime Minister
Tony Blair and interim Iraqi leader Ayad Allawi to "break
the cycle of violence and open a new chapter of inclusiveness
and national reconciliation" in Iraq and to "address,
through political dialogue, the grievances of certain Iraqi
later a few of the aggrieved constituents Mr. Annan would
like to sit down with and bring into the political process
fired a bullet into the back of an innocent 59 year-old
woman's head and possibly dismembered her body. These individuals
routinely kidnap, torture, kill, and maim innocent civilians
and fellow citizens. Somehow I don't think an extra seat
or two in the government is what they're after.
QUIZ: Here's a somewhat related follow up quiz
for you trivia buffs. Who said the following?
"To a certain extent Saddam Hussein's departure was
a positive thing. But it also provoked reactions, such as
the mobilization in a number of countries of men and women
of Islam, which has made the world more dangerous."
"We've gotten rid of him [Saddam Hussein], and I suppose
that's a good thing." "But the capture of Saddam
has not made America safer."
Here for Answer
#1 and Answer
#2. Yet more evidence the Dems have problems that need
fixing. - T. Bevan 11:00 am Link
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November 17 2004
THE GOOD GUYS VS THE BAD GUYS: Islamic terrorists
executed 59 year-old Margaret Hassan who had lived in Iraq
for thirty years, married an Iraqi and become a citizen
herself, and who had devoted her entire life to helping
the Iraqi people.
weeks the terrorists tormented this woman physically and
psychologically before putting a bullet through her blindfolded
chose not to broadcast the video. Not because it is too
graphic - that has never stopped them before and it won't
stop them in the future - but because the enablers at Al-Jazeera
know that the image of this innocent woman being shot in
the head hurts their cause.
Al-Jazeera has no problem running
a constant loop of the tape showing the U.S. Marine shooting
a wounded terrorist - with the obvious intent of trying
to hurt the USA.
bad enough that we have to fight the propaganda machine
of Al-Jazeera and the rest of the Arab media, but shouldn't
the press in OUR country show a little more judgment and
not suggesting the US media just accept the Pentagon line
carte blanche. But I am suggesting that they refrain from
treating these types of events as equivalent in any way.
It's bad enough we have to contend with headlines like "Arabs
enraged by Marine's shooting" while Hassan's brutal
murder gets relegated to the back pages.
military has pulled the Marine in question out of action
and is investigating the incident, which is exactly what
should be done. But every benefit of the doubt had better
go to that young man putting his life on the line for our
importantly, no one should forget that the wounded men in
the mosque captured on video,
including the guy faking to be dead, are EXACTLY the same
type of people putting bullets in the head of aid workers
and slicing off people heads.
simply boggles the mind that some people don't get it. Like
Chris Matthews, for example, who said
this the other day:
this were the other side, and we were watching an enemy
soldier, a rival—I mean, they‘re not bad guys, especially—just
people that disagree with it. They‘re in fact the insurgents
fighting us in their country. If we saw one of them do
what we saw our guy do to that guy, would we consider
that worthy of a war crimes charge?
not bad guys? The London Times (courtesy
reports that the people of Fallujah beg to differ:
who stayed on through last week's offensive were emerging
and telling harrowing tales of the brutality they endured.
[A] poster in the ruins of the souk bears testament to
the strict brand of Sunni Islam imposed by the council,
fronted by hard-line cleric Abdullah Junabi. The decree
warns all women that they must cover up from head to toe
outdoors, or face execution by the armed militants who
controlled the streets.
Two female bodies found yesterday suggest such threats
were far from idle. An Arab woman, in a violet nightdress,
lay in a post-mortem embrace with a male corpse in the
middle of the street. Both bodies had died from bullets
to the head. Just six metres away on the same street lay
the decomposing corpse of a blonde-haired white woman,
too disfigured for swift identification but presumed to
be the body of one of the many foreign hostages kidnapped
by the rebels. Such is the fear that the heavily armed
militants held over Fallujah that many of the residents
who emerged from the ruins welcomed the US marines, despite
the massive destruction their firepower had inflicted
on their city.
man in his sixties, half-naked and his underwear stained
with blood from shrapnel wounds from a US munition, cursed
the insurgents as he greeted the advancing marines on
Saturday night. "I wish the Americans had come here the
very first day and not waited eight months," he said,
trembling. Another elderly man, who did not want his name
used for fear the rebels would one day return and restore
their draconian rule, said he was detained by the militants
last Tuesday and held for four days before being freed.
"It was horrible," he told an AFP reporter."We suffered
from the bombings. Innocent people died or were wounded
by the bombings. "But we were happy you did what you did
because Fallujah had been suffocated by the Mujahidin.
Anyone considered suspicious would be slaughtered. We
would see unknown corpses around the city all the time."
The same story of arbitrary executions was told by another
resident, found by US troops cowering in his home with
his brother and his family. "They would wear black masks,
carry rocket-propelled grenades and Kalashnikovs, and
search streets and alleys," said Iyad Assam, 24. "I would
hear stories, about how they executed five men one day
and seven another for collaborating with the Americans.
They made checkpoints on the roads. They put announcements
on walls banning music and telling women to wear the veil
from head to toe."
type of mentality from guys like Matthews that leads to
questions with lines like these "aren't bad guys,"
and these guys are "just insurgents fighting us in
their country" is the same kind of mentality that led
to Michael Moore taking his seat right next to Jimmy Carter
at the Democratic convention.
Left in this country needs to undertake some serious soul-searching.
And when I say the Left I don't just mean the fringe Left,
I mean the heart and soul of the national Democratic Party,
as represented by their leader in the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi.
I mean the mentality of the media elite as represented by
Chris Matthews, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather.
are fighting a ruthless and evil enemy who wants to enslave
the world and throw it back to the dark ages. We are fighting
the people who killed 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001,
killed 190 Spaniards going to work last year, and slaughtered
hundreds of children going to school in Russia this September.
These are the people who are desperately searching for the
ability to inflict a strike that will make 9/11 look like
a good day.
have a hard enough time trying to convince people like Kofi
Annan and Jacques Chirac of the true threat we are facing
in Islamic fascism. The last thing we need is a press corps
and a good chunk of one of our two major political parties
at home who seem, at times, confused about who are the good
guys and the bad guys.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: This is from George
Will on Stephanopoulos' roundtable this Sunday on ABC's
June 2002, the President said there's no problem getting
to peace in the Middle East and the Palestinian state
if the Palestinian people can generate a leadership that
is a peaceful interlocutor for Israel. 60 days we're going
to do it? The Palestinian people have been the most execrably
led people of the 20th century. Palestinian leaders supported
Germany and the central powers in the first World War,
Hitler in the second World War, Stalin in the Cold War,
Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. That's a losing streak.
Tomorrow morning, Palestinian children will get up and
go to schools where teachers appointed by the Palestinian
Authority and textbooks selected by them will teach them
a kind of virulent anti-Semitism akin to that in Nazi
Germany. We need ten years of de-Nazification to get over
what the Oslo Accords produced when they brought that
thug and his "thugocracy" back to Palestine.
have been said any better. J. McIntyre 12:57
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November 16 2004
SCHUMER STAYS: Chuck
Schumer is staying in the Senate. In return, Harry Reid
is giving Schumer a seat on the Finance Committee and the
chairmanship of the DSCC. Democrats in DC and New York are
know if this really the good news Democrats think it is.
Yes, Schumer's decision means they have avoided a bruising,
costly primary battle between two heavyweights (Schumer
and AG Eliot Spitzer) for the Governorship of New York.
flip side of the decision is that on the heels of November
2 the Democrats have just promoted a liberal, Northeastern
Senator best known for arguing in favor of a pro-abortion
litmus test for federal judges into the ranks of their leadership
and made him the face of their 2006 election hopes. Are
we a bit slow on the learning curve, or what?
if the Dems will just put Howard Dean in as Chairman of
the Party next February, Republicans will be even money
for a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate in two years......
OFF POWELL'S LEGACY: I'm not sure whether I'm in
the minority here or not, but I can't stand all of the carping,
backbiting, and preemptive attempts at "shaping"
Colin Powell's legacy.
whine and say Powell "tarnished" himself by becoming
a mouthpiece and cheerleader for the neocon war effort.
Neocons bitch that Powell was off the reservation and never
whipped the State Department into shape behind President
my mind Colin Powell is a stud - perhaps more so today than
he's ever been. He was (to play on a recent phrase of some
popularity) the right man for the right job at the right
he lose some battles to the Pentagon and the Office of the
Vice President during his tenure? Yes. But he also won some
pretty big ones as well. The important thing, at least to
my mind, is that he was willing to fight those battles day
in and day out and to provide the President with a broader
range of perspectives needed at the highest levels of government.
you think he should have won more or lost more battles is
a matter of personal opinion, but it's hard to say the country
didn't benefit by having Powell in its service as Secretary
of State for the last four years. - T. Bevan
11:00 am Link
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November 15 2004
HAVE YOU BOUGHT THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM?: There
are three groups that really want you to believe that the
religious right and "moral values" were the driving
forces in this election: 1) the religious right 2) liberals
and 3) the media. All three have a vested interest in cementing
the conventional wisdom that this was the election of the
1 obviously wants to overstate its role in the election
to increase its power and influence on the political process.
Groups 2 and 3 cling to the "values voter" theme
to help rationalize what happened on election day and to
paint the Republican party as captive to a fundamentalist
(which in the liberal mind is synonymous with "intolerant")
Charles Krauthammer explained last Friday in typical,
brilliant fashion, the role of the "values voter"
in this year's election is mythical:
The urban myth grew around the fact
that "moral values" ranked highest in the answer
to Question J: "Which ONE issue mattered most in
deciding how you voted for President?"
It is a thin reed upon which to base
a general theory of the '04 election. The way the question
was set up, moral values was sure to be ranked disproportionately
high. Why? Because it was a multiple-choice question and
moral values cover a group of issues, while all the other
choices were individual issues. Chop up the alternatives
finely enough, and moral values is sure to get a bare
plurality over the others.....
If you pit group against group, moral
values comes in dead last: war issues at 34%, economic
issues at 33% and moral values at 22%.
And we know that this is the real
ranking. After all, the exit poll is just a single poll.
We had dozens of polls in the runup to the election that
showed that the chief concerns were the war on terror,
the war in Iraq and the economy.
Ah, yes. But the fallback is then
to attribute Bush's victory to the gay marriage referendums
that pushed Bush over the top, particularly in Ohio. This
is more nonsense. Bush increased his vote in 2004 over
2000 by an average of 3.1% nationwide. In Ohio, the increase
was 1% - less than a third of the national average. In
the 11 states in which the gay marriage referendums were
held, Bush increased his vote by less than he did in the
39 states that did not have the referendum. The great
anti-gay surge was pure fiction.
see more proof of Krauthammer's thesis in an
AP/Ipsos poll conducted from November 3-5 among 844 registered
going to read you a list of issues and I’m going
to read the list twice. Please tell me which one issue
should be the highest priority for President Bush in his
The situation in Iraq.......................27
The economy ..................................18
(NOT READ) Other .......................2
Not sure ......................................... -
"moral values" were not part of the AP/Ipsos list,
but no one in their right mind would argue that voters were
suggesting that a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage
or repealing Roe vs. Wade be higher on the list of the President's
priorities than Iraq, terrorism and the economy.
doesn't mean "values" issues weren't part of the
mix in this election, but they were an undercurrent at best
and simply do not account for President
Bush's country-wide demographic and geographic gains.
I had to characterize this election in a single phrase,
I'd say it was an election about maturity, not morality.
It was a referendum on serious issues and ultimately George
Bush won because he was more serious about them than his
probably heard the reference before that the Democratic
Party is the "mommy party" and the GOP is the
"daddy party." The bottom line is that since 9/11
the country has been in no mood to listen to mommy.
about it. Democrats got their clocks cleaned in 2002 and
again this year. They've suffered two history-defying losses
in the last two cycles. As much as Democrats would like
to boil these losses down to the bigotry of the South and/or
the fear-mongering of Republicans, they simply can't seem
come to grips with the primary reason for their failure:
an inability to pass the national security test with the
not that Democrats can't pass the test, but that they deliberately
refuse to by shunning hawkish members of their party (like
Joe Lieberman and Dick Gephardt) and by embracing antiwar
leftists (like Michael Moore and Howard Dean). It's a schism
that makes it extremely difficult for Democrats to be competitive
nationally or in the South, and no one better represented
the schism, both in symbol and in substance, than John Kerry.
His campaign this year was the ultimate effort to dress
mommy up like daddy, and voters could tell the difference.
T. Bevan 7:00 am Link
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