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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
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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....
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Treason or Not? The Case Against Ted Kennedy
At some point, we will have to muster the courage to face the facts about Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-Ma). Since the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power was made, his criticisms of the President have become more shrill and accusatory. For the most part, that's fine -- the First Amendment protects the right to freedom of speech that we all have, within certain limits. (For instance, one cannot yell "Fire!" in a crowded building if there isn't one.) However, Ted Kennedy may have crossed those limits in his excessively vitriolic attacks on the President and his decision to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein.
President Bush, having been granted the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq by Congress, decided to use that authorised force to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Whether the liberation of Iraq was justified as part of the War on Terror became merely an argument for historians at that point, in a certain respect. The fact is that the United States was and remains at war, like it or not.
Though our Taliban enemies and Saddam Hussein were swiftly defeated, the larger war against terrorism and the States that support it has not ended. At the moment, it is concentrated in that same Iraq that was once a prime supporter of terrorists under Saddam, including the open payment of $25,000 to the family of at least one Hamas suicide bomber, and $10,000 to other Palestinian militants. Our enemies now are the terrorists that have poured into Iraq to prevent that country from becoming an open and democratic nation. Such an event would begin the destruction of terrorism as the only way for -- from their point of view -- disaffected and disenfranchised Muslims to make their voices heard.
Many Middle Eastern countries are repressive Islamo-fascist dictatorships, if not outright theocracies. Whether the rulers are minority Sunni subjugating a majority Shi'ite population, a self-perpetuating religious oligarchy controlling a restless population through fear, or a single extended family ruling just about everyone else, the pressure is only relieved by channeling it into anti-Western rage. The most restive and angry -- and brainwashed -- people are the most likely to become recruits for terrorism. Repressive dictatorships must have an escape valve, or the pressure of their own restive populations would cause them to explode.
We do have enemies, and our enemies have chosen this war. The terrorists have declared that we are their enemy. Whether we like it or not, whether we agree on how we got there or not, we are at war with them in Iraq now. The recent horrific beheading of Nick Berg shows us exactly what kind of people those enemies are, and what they want. We must rid the Middle East of these terrorists -- that's what the War on Terror is all about. And Ted Kennedy has repeatedly given aid and comfort to the enemy in various ways in the course of this war.
He has sought to undermine the credibility of the commander-in-chief by accusing him of manufacturing the case for war in Iraq for his own personal and political ends. "This was made up in Texas, announced in January  to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud," Kennedy said in September 2003. The resolution authorising the war became law by Congressional vote in October 2002, three months earlier. In October 2003 Kennedy said, "The trumped up reasons for going to war have collapsed," and "the President's war has been revealed as mindless, needless, senseless, and reckless." These accusations can only have a detrimental effect on the morale of our armed forces fighting "the President's war," and on American credibility in the world.
He has sought to decrease the effectiveness of America's ability to prosecute war by demanding that Bush fire Donald Rumsfeld in the middle of a war. "I think we need a new beginning," Kennedy said after Rumsfeld's testimony before the Senate regarding the mistreatment of some prisoners in Iraq. By all accounts the abuse seems to have been performed by guards exceeding their orders, on their own initiative. When the abuse was reported, it was immediately investigated. The report from Major General Taguba found, as he told the Senate, that there were no actual orders given to the guards or policy set to mistreat the prisoners, though it was "suggested" by General Geoffrey Miller that they set the "conditions for the successful exploitation of internees." There is no evidence whatsoever that Rumsfeld had anything to do with it, yet this situation is being used to demand his replacement. Removing the Secretary of Defense on such a flimsy pretext in the middle of an ongoing conflict would cause a serious disruption of our military's coherence and efficacy.
He has sought to damage the morale of US troops in the field of combat by comparing them to Saddam Hussein's torture squads, speaking of the same prisoner mistreatment. "On March 19, 2004, President Bush asked, 'Who would prefer that Saddam's torture chambers still be open?'" said Kennedy. "Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management: U.S. management." Saddam Hussein's torture methodology included eye gouging, the piercing of hands with an electric drill, suspension until ligaments were torn, acid baths and feeding the victim feet-first into a plastic shredder. It is infamous and outrageous when our enemies compare the US military to Saddam's State-sanctioned torturers. How much more so when a sitting US Senator does it?
Title 18, Part I, Chapter 115, Section 2381 of the United States Legal Code defines "treason" in the following way: "Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason." Senator Kennedy's accusations have given comfort to our enemies, who must surely think that they can force us to back down from them when they hear his vitriolic attacks. His words have aided the enemy by sapping the morale of American troops facing them in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For the successful prosecution of the fight against terrorism, our enemies must see that while we may argue amongst ourselves, we are united against them. For the good of the country, Senator Kennedy must step down from the Senate.
UPDATE: Please sign the online petition to request Senator Kennedy's resignation.
Posted at Thursday, May 13, 2004 by CavalierX
Monday, May 10, 2004
Abu Ghraib in Perspective
The manufactured hysteria over the prisoner mistreatment at Abu Ghraib prison is going to be at the top of the Iraq news as long as the Democrats and the media can milk it, so get used to seeing those terrible pictures and more day after day, all summer long. If there's a single American who isn't disgusted by the way Iraqi prisoners in American care were embarrassed and abused he or she ought to see a doctor. But all this hyperventilation by the media -- and, of course, leading Democrats -- is such a transparent attempt to turn public opinion against the President and the liberation of Iraq that it's already become cartoonish.
It seems that the problem began when some Army reservists -- untrained in interrogation techniques -- were put in charge of Abu Ghraib prison in October 2003, where former Saddam Fedayeen and other insurgents were being held. Major General Geoffrey Miller visited Abu Ghraib, and made a recommendation that the guards set "the conditions for the successful exploitation of internees." By January 2004, "softening up" the prisoners had crossed the line into abuse, which was duly reported to the authorities by Specialist Joseph Darby. Instead of engaging in the cover-up at which the media likes to hint, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez immediately ordered the matter investigated by Major General Antonio Taguba. As a result, Army Reserve Brigadier General Janis Karpinski was suspended from her command within days, and all the soldiers involved were removed from duty. Seven of the guards have been criminally charged so far. Karpinski stated that the CID (Army Intelligence) had taken charge of the cell block, and this still needs to be investigated further. Taguba's investigation uncovered the fact that one man, Master-at-Arms First Class William Kimbro, actually "refused to participate in improper interrogations despite significant pressure," but the media (in their determination to highlight the bad news) seems not to have mentioned him. In fact, though a press conference was held and the news media informed of the investigation on 16 January 2004, the problems at Abu Ghraib and other prisons were hardly mentioned at all until recently.
So the military investigated and corrected the problem, exactly as should be done. End of story, right? Don't be so naive... this is an election year! Someone leaked pictures of the abuse to CBS. After a short delay (at the military's request, due to the already-inflamed situation in Fallujah), 60 Minutes led the charge to wave those pictures in the collective face of the world.
No matter how many times President Bush and members of his administration apologise for this mistreatment, and no matter how quickly it was stopped and investigated, and no matter how many soldiers of whatever rank stand for punishment or incarceration, the Democrats won't stop beating this particular horse until long after its death. Calling for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's resignation is only part of their drive to turn public opinion against President Bush. No one has condoned what happened in that prison -- no one. No one tried to cover it up. But trust the Democrats, abetted by the media, to work all summer to convince the public that President Bush did both.
Donald Rumsfeld's testimony and apology before the Senate prompted the inevitable Vietnam comparisons... then again, the thought of Americans in foreign countries with guns always prompts hysterical knee-jerk Vietnam comparisons, especially from Democrats. While even Senator John McCain (R?-AZ) compared the mistreatment of prisoners by a few guards to the massacre of civilians in their homes at My Lai in 1968, Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) was able to put things in perspective.
"It deserves the apology that you have given today, and has been given by others in high positions in our government and our military," Lieberman told Rumsfeld. "I cannot help but say, however, that those who were responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on September 11th, 2001, never apologized," he said, and that four Americans in Fallujah who were "murdered and burned and humiliated ... never received an apology from anybody." Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and others called for Rumsfeld's resignation, despite the fact that 70% of Americans want him to stay in his position. The American people, it seems, understand that we are fighting a war, and that the enemy would love to see Donald Rumsfeld fired. In a rare statement, Vice President Dick Cheney struck a blow in Rumsfeld's defense. "Don Rumsfeld is the best secretary of defense the United States has ever had," Cheney said, "People ought to get off his case and let him do his job." President Bush stated that Rumsfeld "will stay in my Cabinet." Senator John Kerry (D-MA) called for President Bush to be replaced as well... but since he's the man who hopes to replace Bush, his point of view might be just a little biased and overblown. No matter what President Bush says or does, Kerry will call for him to be replaced, of course.
The perspective many on the Left seem to be lacking is this: in war, terrible things sometimes happen. People are not perfect. A nation which holds itself to lesser standards than the United States of America, however, would cover these things up, hamper the investigation, or even perform these acts and far worse as a matter of State policy the way Saddam Hussein did for over three decades. (Most Arab nations, in fact, use torture in prisons as a matter of course.) This is not what's happening, and the world can see that a democracy polices itself. Those responsible for the mistreatment of Abu Ghraib prisoners are being identified, investigated and will be punished for their misdeeds.
Still, some questions remain unasked. How did those pictures, evidence from an ongoing criminal investigation, certain to drive anti-American feeling both at home and abroad to a fever pitch as well as prejudice the investigation, make their way into the eager little hands of the media? Who leaked those photos, and why?
*UPDATE: When Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick was under investigation by the military for the abuse of Abu Ghraib detainees, his family feared he would be made a scapegoat. William Lawson, Frederick's uncle, tried in vain to get the attention of seventeen members of Congress before sending an email to retired Colonel David Hackworth, who put Lawson in touch with CBS. Whether Hackworth or Lawson was the person who actually turned the pictures over to the media is still unclear, but one thing is unmistakable: leaking this material to the media has increased the danger to American lives, both at home and abroad. It has undermined the morale of our troops and the support for their mission. Was this really done in a vain attempt to prevent Frederick's court martial, essentially an attempt to blackmail the United States? If any plan could be said to backfire, this is the one. And it leads us to new questions. Which seventeen members of Congress did Lawson contact? Why did they remain silent? Did they not have the same responsibility to inform Congress that Donald Rumsfeld did?
It's going to be a very long summer.
(Thanks to Watcher of Weasels for the NY Times link and the blackmail question!)
Posted at Monday, May 10, 2004 by CavalierX
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
New Socialism in New Jersey
Who said socialism is dead? It's alive and well in New Jersey... or at least on life support. In a preview of things to come should John Kerry win the election this November, Governor Jim McGreevey recently proposed a plan to raise the income tax for everyone in the state who makes more than $500,000 a year, which will be given to lower-income residents as a tax rebate. In much the same way, John Kerry wants to raise the federal income tax for everyone in America who makes more than $200,000.
I've often wondered when it became the job of government to punish those who make more money by taking a larger percentage of it away. Is it a crime of some sort to do well? No, even then one would at least be owed a trial first. Democrats like McGreevey and Kerry simply declare that the more a person makes, the higher a percentage he or she must donate, to be given to people who didn't work for it. Is there any other name for this but income redistribution, the hallmark of socialism? A certain amount of taxes are necessary to provide for the essential functions of government, but taking taxes from some in order to give it to others is simply ridiculous. (Sorry, Robin Hood was redressing a wrong, not creating one... and he wasn't the government.) Remember that Karl Marx and Frederick Engels proposed a heavy progressive income tax as one of the measures necessary for the advance of Communism. A progressive income tax increases the number of people dependent on the State for sustenance, reducing or even eliminating their self-reliance and autonomy. Naturally, they tend to vote for the people who promise to continue the "bread and circuses;" an automatic vote for Democrats from the apathetic masses.
How does that work? What sense does that make? Say you're twelve years old and charge $5 to cut my lawn. You spend a hot, sweaty hour pushing a lawnmower around my yard. When it comes time to pay you, I only give you $3... and give $1 to each of your two friends who watched cartoons while you worked. Next time, you charge me $10... but I give $2.50 to each of your friends, handing you only $5. "Well, that's only fair," I say. "They had less money than you." Would you ever visit me again, except to egg my house on Mischief Night? I'll bet those two friends of yours wouldn't like that.
What Democrats seem to forget is that the majority of people earning over $500,000 -- or even $200,000 -- are business owners and investors. When they feel the pinch of higher taxes, the last thing they'll do is pay with a smile. Radio ads touting McGreevey's tax proposal claim that it's "a small sacrifice for 28,000 to make." New Jersey will see that tax base drying up, should that enforced "sacrifice" become law. Some people who fall into the "making too much" category may move out of the state altogether, taking their money with them. Others will move their money out of the stock market and into tax shelters, putting it out of McGreevey's reach. Those who own businesses will not expand their business as they might otherwise have done, and will not hire new employees they might otherwise have hired. Most of those 28,000 people making over $500,000 won't be making that involuntary "sacrifice" the Democrats have decided they won't miss, or will make up the loss in other ways which will cost the state jobs and growth. So how will McGreevey pay for the big tax rebate he's promising "middle class" citizens he'll take from the pockets of the too-rich? How will he pay the increased ranks of the unemployed? He'll just have to raise that extra tax a little bit more to make up the shortfall. Repeat cycle.
Hmm... well, $200,000 is still quite a lot of money for New Jersey residents to make, isn't it? Surely the people making all that money can afford a small sacrifice as well? Then, perhaps those selfish people earning $100,000 might look as though they're making too much money... And if you think that this all sounds like a bad deal for New Jersey taxpayers, how do you think people at the same income levels might react to Kerry playing the same games with the federal income tax?
Posted at Wednesday, May 05, 2004 by CavalierX
Sunday, May 02, 2004
As most people know, Ted Koppel recently devoted an entire edition of his "news" program, Nightline, to an editorial in which he merely read a list of every American soldier who has died in Iraq while showing their pictures. Koppel (and the rest of the Left) piously pretends this was done out of some pure motive to honor those dead, although no mention was made of the (no less honorable, surely) soldiers who died in Afghanistan. Only one conclusion can be reasonably be drawn from this. The main difference between Afghanistan and Iraq is that even the most fanatically anti-war people on the Left didn't -- or perhaps felt they couldn't -- openly oppose the former as they did the latter. (Some did, however, like the Peaceful Tomorrows group, which claims to speak for the families of 9/11 victims.) In fact, the Left still pretends not to know of all the reasons that the war in Iraq was necessary and right. No one should be surprised at their sophistry; those on the Left always pretend their motives are pure and that they're morally superior to the rest of us. If they were forced to admit the war in Iraq was justified, then they would be unable to justify their own opposition to it. How can those who opposed the liberation of 25 million people from virtual slavery ever pretend to be "morally superior" to those who supported it? There is no doubt that reading only the names of the soldiers who died in Iraq was done to turn popular opinion against President Bush and anyone who still supports our presence there.
Is that how we honor the dead now, by trying to make their sacrifice turn out to have been in vain? Is that how the dead of World Wars I and II were honored, or the dead of the Korean War? The Left began "honoring" the dead by throwing away what they died for during the Vietnam war, and have been trying to repeat that performance ever since. Every time American soldiers are sent to achieve an objective, the Left (claiming to be concerned for them) begins undermining public support for their mission. Like the al-Qaeda elements our military is fighting in parts of Iraq, the Left is putting forth their best effort to stop Iraq from becoming a success. Unlike the terrorists, however, they'll still be here after Iraq has become a democratic society, waiting for the next opportunity to fight against those fighting for freedom.
If there's one trait that marks the Left more than any other, it's their voluntary virtual enslavement to that which is negative. The flip side of that coin is their inability to even acknowledge that which is positive. Is it good that soldiers died in Iraq? No! But then -- if you're intellectually honest -- you also have to ask, is it BAD that Iraqi schoolgirls are no longer sent to Uday's rape rooms by their principals? Is it BAD that Iraq has freedom of the press and free elections for the first time ever? Is it BAD that the mass graves are no longer being filled? Is it BAD that hospitals are no longer being ordered to let children die to make a better case against the UN sanctions? Is it BAD that Saddam is no longer hiding his violations of 17 UN resolutions and his cease-fire agreement with the US? Is it BAD that Saddam and his thug government are no longer systematically violating human rights as a matter of course? Is it BAD that Saddam is no longer giving money and support to terrorists and destabilising the Middle East? Focusing on the cost of the war while deliberately ignoring what it has accomplished is a half-truth at best, and an attempt to turn the deaths of our soldiers into a political tool. One cannot speak of those who died in Europe in World War II without remembering that they did so to free France and Germany, and remove Hitler from power.
If you want to honor the dead, then you work towards a freer, better Iraq. You praise that which has already been accomplished while you mourn the losses. You work to increase public support for the good work they did, and their fellows are still doing, so that it can be accomplished better and faster. No one is ignoring those who gave their lives in Iraq, as Ted Koppel and the Left seem to think. Using their deaths to make political points against their commander-in-chief, however, does not honor them at all.
Posted at Sunday, May 02, 2004 by CavalierX
Friday, April 30, 2004
Nightline: Politicising the War Dead
It wasn't enough for the Left when the "mainstream" media made it a point to include the daily US soldier body count from Iraq in every news report in every medium. It wasn't enough when they unapologetically added the number of those killed in accidents in Iraq -- which, frankly, could have happened almost anywhere -- to those killed in combat, just to inflate the American body count further. It wasn't enough for the Left that, for the last half of 2003, the media talking heads almost gleefully announced a second daily Iraq soldier body count, with the tagline, "since President Bush declared major combat over on May first." Support for the liberation of Iraq from dictator Saddam Hussein remained strong, despite the best efforts of the Left to instill an anti-war attitude into every viewer.
Dissatisfied at the refusal of the unwashed masses to go along with their determination to undermine support for the President and the war in Iraq, the Left began attacking him for not attending the funerals of dead soldiers, despite the fact that such events have been rare occurences in our history. President Johnson, who presided over the Vietnam War around which the Left has based their opposition to all things military since, only attended two military funerals despite the fact that 58,169 service members died. Bill Clinton, beloved of the Left, did not attend any funerals for the military except for the sailors killed in the al-Qaeda attack on the USS Stark. Not even the 18 Army Rangers who died in Mogadishu in 1993 merited a Presidential funeral attendance.
When that didn't drum up the anti-war sentiment the Left wanted, they began attempting to politicise the military itself. Falling back on standard Democrat class warfare tactics, the anti-war Left, led by Charlie Rangel (D-NY), began -- isn't irony incredible? -- actually calling for a draft, claiming that an all-volunteer military was "unfair" to minorities and the poor. As tragic as it was, the recent death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman in Afghanistan quickly squashed the Left's claim that people only enter the military due to economic hardship or other disadvantage. Tillman, a rising football star, turned down a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals out of sheer patriotism after 9/11, becoming an Army Ranger instead.
Back to the dead, then. The Left has been attacking President Bush for not allowing photos of soldiers' coffins to be taken, implying that he was attempting to hide something. What he might be hiding, no one can say, since the death toll (as I pointed out earlier) has been announced several dozen times daily since the first day of combat in Iraq. The problem with that particular line of attack is that the Pentagon's rule against photographing the coffins of war dead has been in place since 1991, and was not invented by President Bush to keep anything "secret." The Left runs on sheer emotionalism, however, and many believed viewers would "feel" more objectionable towards the war if they could only see some coffins, since merely announcing numbers wasn't causing anti-war sentiment to rise. Finally, the Left got what it wanted -- a photographer broke the long-standing rule and shot several pictures of flag-draped caskets. Unfortunately for the Left, the remains were being treated with all the honor and respect they deserve, instead of being stacked like cordwood or cargo. "I let the parents know their children weren't thrown around like a piece of cargo, that they instead were treated with the utmost respect and dignity," said the woman who was fired for taking the pictures. Guess the Left just can't catch a break. The "coffin photo controversy" was quickly (pardon the pun) buried.
Ted Koppel must be growing impatient with the persistent "failure" of mainstream America to feel the anti-war sentiment the Leftist elites want them to. How can they undermine support for President Bush in the fall election if most Americans stubbornly refuse to personally blame him for each and every American death in Iraq? Well, Ted's got what he thinks is the answer. Tonight's "Nightline" will be almost exclusively devoted to reading the names of every American man and woman killed in Iraq, while pictures of the dead are shown and wistful music, no doubt, tugs at the heartstrings. "Just look at these people. Look at their names. And look at their ages. Consider what they've done for you. Honor them," says Koppel by way of defense, claiming that this is not a political statement. If you believe that, then give me your name. I've got some Florida swamplan... uh, prime real estate to sell you.
If it's simply an honor roll of America's war dead, as Koppel and other Leftists claim, then where are the names of those who have died in Afghanistan?
Posted at Friday, April 30, 2004 by CavalierX
Monday, April 26, 2004
PA Primary: Republican vs. RINO
Tomorrow's primary will decide whether Pennsylvania Republicans are represented in the US Senate by a Conservative Republican or a RINO -- Republican In Name Only. According to CBS news Arlen Specter "votes with Democrats almost exactly 50 percent of the time." Naturally, this appears to be a good thing to the Liberal media. If there's any point in calling Specter a Republican, I fail to see it. Pat Toomey, on the other hand, is described as a "former Wall Streeter, Harvard grad and conservative ideologue" and is "known as a tax-cutting, spending-cutting budget hawk. He is also conservative on social issues such as abortion and cloning." Except for the cloning issue (being all in favor of the advancement of science), I cannot see a downside to electing Toomey to represent the State's Republicans. The media's position on the contest -- again, no surprise -- is that it's better for Pennsylvanian Conservatives to elect a false Republican who represents them only half the time than a true Conservative who -- the media hastens to warn -- stands a chance of losing the election in November.
While Specter voted to reduce the Bush tax cuts in 2001, Toomey voted for them in full. Specter has voted for five major tax increases, in fact, while Toomey has opposed raising taxes. We've seen the result of those cuts in a booming economy. Toomey supports tort reform, which would cut down on the number of frivolous lawsuits that are keeping health care costs so high. Specter opposes those reforms. Specter favors allowing US soldiers to be tried in the International Criminal Court, while Toomey opposes such an affront to the rights of Americans under the Constitution. Specter voted to let public schools ban the Boy Scouts of America. Toomey supports school choice, while Specter opposes it. In 1987, Specter voted against Reagan's appointment of Conservative Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. Bork's appointment would have prevented many of the judicial abuses of power we've been subject to ever since.
In 2002, Arlen Specter was the only Republican to vote against a resolution to aid international efforts to bring "Saddam Hussein and other foreign nationals accused of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity" to justice. He still voted against the measure when it was weakened to read that "nothing in this title shall prohibit the United States from rendering assistance to international efforts to bring to justice Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosovic, Osama bin Laden, other members of Al Queda, leaders of Islamic Jihad, and other foreign nationals accused of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity." Again, he was the only Republican to do so. Toomey has voted for pay raises for the military every year he has been in office. Not only did Specter vote against military pay raises two separate times, but he also voted to cut the budgets for both intelligence and defense along with John Kerry.
Tomorrow's primary is not Republican vs. Republican. It's Republican vs. RINO.
Posted at Monday, April 26, 2004 by CavalierX
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Supporting Abortion: Your Tax Dollars At Work
If you ever sought proof that our educational system is dominated by Liberals, it's this: the National Education Association is co-sponsoring an April pro-abortion march in Washington DC. Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America and other liberal and feminist groups are marching to promote abortion on demand. The organisation that supposedly represents America's teachers is officially marching right alongside them. Certainly there are individual teachers who don't support abortion, and would rather their mandatory union dues -- automatically deducted from their paychecks, which are generated by our taxes -- not be spent to sponsor a rally in favor of it, but they are clearly in the minority.
What business does a teacher's union have promoting abortion on the taxpayer's dime? Shouldn't the National Education Association be more concerned with issues related to education? What message does it send to children when they see their teachers endorse killing unborn children as a matter of convenience? How are they supposed to feel when they realise that if their mothers had felt the same way, they might not have been born? Aren't the teachers worried about putting themselves out of a job if too many people listen to them? Actually, there's little danger of teachers being fired for any reason once they reach tenure. This is the most radical method of reducing class size I've ever seen, however.
If teachers are supposed to be authority figures and role models for children, they should stick to promoting positive values when they speak as teachers. There's no reason for them to get involved in pro-abortion marches any more than they should be involved with so-called anti-war marches... which they're also doing. For instance, the United Educators of San Francisco/AFT/NEA/AFL-CIO joined with groups like the International Socialist Organization, the Pagans 4 Peace and the Queers For Racial & Economic Justice to stage a recent "run away!" war protest in San Francisco. Teachers were seen demanding that the US run away from its responsibilities in Iraq and stop fighting for liberty. Once again, what message does this send to the children for whom those teachers represent adulthood and authority?
If union members want to march in support of causes that have nothing to do with education, that's their right as individuals. When they represent themselves as speaking on behalf of America's teachers, then they shouldn't be endorsing either side of political issues.
Isn't it about time that the schools we pay for stop being used as a pulpit from which to promote purely Liberal "values"?
Posted at Sunday, April 25, 2004 by CavalierX
Thursday, April 22, 2004
The Strange Odyssey of John O'Neill
Of all the people the 9/11 Commission should be interviewing but isn't, one person tops the list. It's not because he's on the wrong side of the table, like Jamie Gorelick (who raised the wall that separated domestic and foreign intelligence, but somehow became a commissioner instead of a witness). After working for years to put the pieces of the puzzle together and bring down al-Qaeda, a dedicated FBI agent finally gave up... and then al-Qaeda killed him. The man who should be interviewed is John O'Neill.
In 1995, O'Neill was put in charge of the investigation into the 1993 WTC bombing, which pointed to Iraqi involvement. His team captured Ramzi Yousef, the al-Qaeda operative who was directly responsible for the attack (and whose identity may actually have been an Iraqi intelligence plant). He also investigated the al-Qaeda attacks in Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania) and Nairobi (Kenya) in 1998, and on the USS Cole in 2000. His aggressive attitude towards catching terrorists clashed with the limited access the Yemenis gave him to the Cole bombing suspects. Rather than upset the Yemenis, Ambassador Barbara Bodine had him barred from the country, the first time such a thing had ever been done.
O'Neill quit the FBI soon after that, when an investigation began over a briefcase containing sensitive files that disappeared from his hotel room... only to mysteriously reappear in another hotel ninety minutes later, untouched. He became the head of Security at the World Trade Center in July 2001, and was at his desk on 9/11 when the planes hit. After getting out of the building and reporting to a command post, he re-entered Tower 2 to help others escape, and was killed when it collapsed.
The Clinton administration always insisted that al-Qaeda was a new type of terrorist group, one with no ties to any countries. John O'Neill knew that this was impossible. His investigation of the Cole attack, for instance, turned up evidence that a rogue state was involved, probably Iraq. The explosive used in the bombing was only used in the US, Israel, and "two Arab countries." The sophisticated device used in the attack also pointed to state involvement. Vincent Cannistraro, former CIA counter-terrorism chief, stated in October 2000 that Iraq had been wanting to carry out terrorist attacks, and that the Iraqi military had been in contact with Osama bin Laden. The "mainstream" media's studied ignorance of statements like these is baffling.
John O'Neill's personal files from his years of traveling around the world investigating al-Qaeda are now being used as evidence in a lawsuit. His family is suing Saddam Hussein and the Nation of Iraq for his death. The evidence includes documents unearthed in the headquarters of the Mukhabarat (Iraq's intelligence service) and information gleaned from the interrogation of both al-Qaeda and Iraqi prisoners. The purpose of the suit, coordinated by the Washington Center for Peace and Justice, is to prove that Saddam Hussein was a silent partner in al-Qaeda's terror attacks against the US; that he harbored and trained al-Qaeda terrorists. For instance, the lawsuit states that two of bin Laden's senior military commanders, Muhammed abu-Islam and Abdullah Qassim, visited Baghdad in April and May 1998 to meet with Qusay Hussein, Saddam's younger (and slightly saner) son. It also claims that Ayman al-Zawahri, bin Laden's top deputy, met with Iraqi officials including then-Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan. Documents recovered in Iraq also show, the lawsuit further states, that three al-Jazeera employees were acting as messengers between Osama and Saddam. "We can substantiate through witnesses and documents all the allegations," WCPJ attorney Joshua Ambush stated. The crux of the matter is that the 9/11 hijackers were very likely trained at Salman Pak, Saddam's terrorist training camp just south of Baghdad. Sabah Khodada, a former Iraqi army captain who worked at the camp, gave an interview to the New York Times and PBS on 14 October 2001 in which he made this claim. Khodada said, "I assure you, this operation was conducted by people who were trained by Saddam." Is it any wonder that the Bush administration looked to Iraq for answers about 9/11, when the media was full of stories about the connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda?
The O'Neill case is not the only legal action being taken against states that have sponsored and supported terrorism on behalf of 9/11 victims. In May 2003, Judge Harold Baer of the Southern District Court of New York ruled that plaintiffs had presented enough evidence to be awarded $104 million in a lawsuit against the State of Iraq, among others. Over 2,000 lawsuits have been filed against the governments of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
The O'Neill lawsuit will be the keystone case, however. Not only does this particular suit have more damning and thorough documentation (having been lodged after the fall of Baghdad and the recovery of the Mukhabarat files), but much of the investigative work was done by O'Neill himself before his death. The victim, in this case, will be the architect of the prosecution.
Poetic justice at its finest.
Posted at Thursday, April 22, 2004 by CavalierX
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Syria and the WMD Shell Game
Since the day the first American soldier stepped across the Kuwait-Iraq border in March 2003, everyone who supported the removal of Saddam Hussein from power has been under a relentless attack from the Left. Led by the "mainstream" media, the attack began on the very first day, at the very first CENTCOM briefing, and has continued like a relentless mosquito whining to this day. Despite the fact that every intelligence service in the world agreed, members of the US government agreed, the United Nations agreed and Iraqi officials admitted that Iraq had created weapons of mass destruction and never provided any proof that they had been destroyed, the Left has been using "where's the WMDs?" as an attack against President Bush. Every time a plausible reason for not stumbling across warehouses full of gleaming ICBMs and vats of glowing green gunk marked "DANGER! WMD" right away was offered, the Left ignored it. They refuse to consider, even today, that Saddam may have hidden, moved or destroyed his arsenal, though it became clear months before the war in Iraq began that the Coalition was serious about forcing Saddam to comply with all those violated UN resolutions (including the 1991 cease-fire with the US). When those on the Left ask where Saddam's WMDs are, they don't actually want to know... they just want an excuse to bash Bush and claim that he "lied".
Every time evidence of illegal weapons (like the ricin in north Iraq) or dual-use material (like the so-called "pesticide" in south Iraq) was discovered, the Left brushed it off. Even Dr. David Kay's reports of Iraq's undisclosed WMD research (including Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever) could not penetrate their intransigence. They demanded that President Bush quickly produce huge stockpiles of WMDs or be branded a liar. Note that the kind of stockpile the Left demanded as evidence of Saddam's non-compliance would have been impossible to hide even from the bumbling Hans Blix. As Paul Leventhal testified before the Senate in March 2000, "he was in charge when the IAEA totally missed Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program before the Gulf War and accepted unsubstantiated Iraqi disarmament claims after the war." The Left ignored Hans Blix's background. The Left ignored every piece of evidence that Saddam had ever had WMDs. The Left has ignored everything that justified the Iraq war so far, because a just war doesn't fit their predetermined position. (You know the position: Bush is evil, he's controlled by Halliburton, aliens and/or Israel, Iraq was all about oil, world imperialism and/or personal revenge, etc.)
Well, this may prove a little harder for them to ignore.
An al-Qaeda cell linked to Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi (currently hiding out in Iraq), recently planned to set off simultaneous chemical weapon attacks in Jordan which might have killed up to 20,000 people. It might have been the worst terrorist attack ever, had it not been foiled by Jordanian officials before the plot could be carried out. One of the attack points was to have been the US embassy in Amman; the rest were public and government buildings. Where did these would-be bombers come from? Where did they get their chemical weapons, which included a poison gas (probably VX nerve agent, according to intelligence expert John Loftus)? According to Jordan... from our old friend, Syria. But how did Syria get chemical weapons?
During the last few months leading up to the Iraq war, some of Saddam's arsenal of WMDs was apparently being shipped across the Syrian border for safe-keeping. The Israelis believed that the bulk of it kept going, to be buried in Lebanon's Beka'a Valley, under Hezbollah control.
Now, our intelligence sources can disclose exclusively that the relocation of Iraq’s WMD systems took place between January 10 and March 10 and was completed just 10 days before the US-led offensive was launched against Iraq. The banned arsenal, hauled in giant tankers from Iraq to Syria and from there to the Bekaa Valley under Syrian special forces and military intelligence escort, was discharged into pits 6-8 meters across and 25-35 meters deep dug by Syrian army engineers. They were sealed and planted over with new seedlings. Nonetheless, their location is known and detectable with the right instruments. Our sources have learned that Syria was paid about $35 million to make Saddam Hussein’s forbidden weapons disappear.
The first part of this report matches what David Kay learned after spending several months in Iraq searching for the whereabouts of Saddam's arsenal. "We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons," he said. "But we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD programme. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved." The report was further corroborated by CIA satellite photos showing fleets of trucks moving from Iraq to Syria during February and March 2003. A Syrian journalist named Nizar Nayuf defected to the West in January 2004. He claimed to know of three locations in Syria where Saddam's WMDs were buried in February 2003.
US officials have repeatedly warned Syria that their covert support of the terrorists in Iraq will not be tolerated. Syria has consistently worked against the Coalition and against the formation of a new democracy in Iraq. They provided safe haven for former members of Saddam's regime and have probably been hiding Saddam's WMD arsenal all along. If Bashar Assad has allowed terrorists to acquire some of it, things will go very badly for him... and in the very near future.
Posted at Wednesday, April 21, 2004 by CavalierX
Sunday, April 18, 2004
Pop quiz: Who recently said the following?
"This war makes millions of dollars for big corporations, either weapons manufacturers or those working in the reconstruction [of Iraq], such as Halliburton and its sister companies...
"It is crystal clear who benefits from igniting the fire of this war and this bloodshed: They are the merchants of war, the bloodsuckers who run the policy of the world from behind the scenes.
"President Bush and his ilk, the media giants... all are a fatal danger to the world..."
Was it a) Osama bin Laden, b) John Kerry, c) a MoveOn.org ad, d) Robert Byrd or e) Ted Kennedy?
The answer, of course, is a) Osama bin Laden. But why was it so hard to choose, if you didn't already know the answer? Has anyone noticed that America's worst enemies and leading Democrats are starting to sound alike? Last week Ted Kennedy, Bobby Byrd and Moqtada al-Sadr all used the same troop-demoralising line about Iraq being Vietnam to attack President Bush. Can you imagine the Republicans quoting Emperor Hirohito or Adolf Hitler during the 1944 election campaign? Perhaps they could have quoted Prime Minister Tojo, when he said in 1942, "America that is suffering repeated defeats is trying to cover its mortal blow by relying on vicious propaganda and is in a desperate condition trying to cover the rising criticism within the country and to preserve the right of neutral countries." Would attacking the President using the enemy's words have won over the American people in 1944? Would telling US troops that they were fighting a war for immoral reasons, that they were bound to fail, and that their commander-in-chief was a terrible person have won the election?
Certainly not then, and I hope it doesn't now.
Posted at Sunday, April 18, 2004 by CavalierX