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Americans on Politics, Policy, and Pop Culture:
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An Interview With the G-Man:
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Joe Mariani

Number of people freed from totalitarian dictatorships by precision use of American military force under George W. Bush:
50 million in just two years

Number of people freed from totalitarian dictatorships by anti-American Bush-bashing terrorist-appeasing whining elitists:
Zero. Ever.

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."


Infamous Monsters of Filmland

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Blame Bush
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Communists for Kerry

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Fellowship 9/11: Sauron never attacked Rohan, Saruman did! Yet a small group of elitists convinced Middle-earth to divert resources from the real war to attack Mordor for personal gain.


When Democrats Attack
Did prominent Democrats switch positions on Iraq just to attack President Bush for political gain? (See the updated list.)

Was Iraqi Freedom Justified?
An honest, step-by-step analysis of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq that Congress voted into law shows that it was.

Saddam's Philanthropy of Terror
Details of solid ties to organised international terrorism

How The Left Betrayed Iraq
by Naseer Flayih Hasan

Did We Botch The Occupation?
No, not of Iraq: of Germany. Read the media's take on how we "lost the peace" in 1946 and compare.

Debunking 8 Anti-War Myths About the Conflict in Iraq

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The Fatal Conceit:
The Errors of Socialism
by F. A. Hayek

Articles Previously Published at

- When Good Liberals Go Bad - 05/29/03
- How Stupid Do Democrats Think You Are? - 05/31/03
- Who Are These 'Rich' Getting Tax Cuts, Anyway? - 06/02/03
- How Can We Miss The Clintons If They Won't Go Away? - 06/04/03
- Whining of Mass Distraction: How To Discredit A President - 06/05/03
- Liberal "Rules" for Arguing - 06/10/03
- Liberalism: Curable or Terminal? - 06/14/03
- Filibustering Judges: Hijacking Presidential Powers? - 06/17/03
- Is Hamas Exempt from the War on Terror? - 06/22/03
- How Malleable Is The Constitution? - 06/26/03
- Rejecting Our Biological and Cultural Heritage - 06/30/03
- I Need Liberal Assistance, Now! - 07/02/03
- Bring Them On - 07/03/03
- We Need You Arrogant Warmongering Americans...Again - 07/09/03
- Much Ado About Nothing, Again - 07/13/03
- Double Standard: Blindly Blame Bush - 07/18/03
- Was WWII Also Unjustified? - 07/20/03
- Clinton Backing Bush? Don't Bet On It! - 07/24/03
- How To Be A Hypocritical Liberal - 07/28/03
- The Clinton Legacy: In Answer to Mr. Stensrud - 07/30/03
-What Is 'Good News' To Liberals? - 08/02/03
- Bush's Big Blunder - 08/06/03
- The Meaning of Right - Why I Supported the Iraq War - 08/10/03
- More Liberal "Rules" for Arguing - 08/14/03
- You Can Have Cary Grant; I'll Take John Wayne! - 08/19/03
- Where Is The ACLU When It's Actually Needed? - 08/25/03
- Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Ten Commandments? - 08/28/03
- From The Weasels: Thanks For Nothing - 08/30/03
- The Liberal Superfriends - 09/02/03
- Liberal Superfriends 2: The Sequel - 09/05/03
- Saddam and 9/11: Connect the Dots - 09/08/03
- Throwing Away the Southern Vote - 11/02/03
- Libya: The First Domino Falls - 12/20/03
- Is the UN Playing Games with American Politics? - 03/04/04

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Sunday, October 31, 2004
The War on Terror: Chess or Checkers?

As it always was in reality, terrorism is now understood to be the dominant issue of the 2004 campaign. The Left tried to make gay "marriage," fake 1970's memos and flu shots seem more important, but most of us have always known that when our lives are at risk, no single issue can match the significance of national security. Our safety shouldn't BE reduced to a campaign issue, but because the Democrats are desperate for a way to attack the President, it is. Just days before the election, Osama bin Laden reared his ugly head to read what sounded like Democrat talking points as penned by Michael Moore. Liberals, of course, voiced their affected outrage that he is still alive after three years, although they're happy enough to use his continued existence as a political bat to swing at President Bush's knees. Ask them how long it took to track down the Unabomber, though, and get a blank stare. It was 18 years from the first of Ted Kaczynski's 16 bomb attacks on 25 May 1978 until his arrest on 3 April 1996. Similarly, it was 7 years between Eric Rudolph's 1996 Olympic bomb attack in Atlanta and his arrest in 2003. Both of those men were living right here in the US, not in a hostile country half a world away, yet it took years to bring them to justice.

What's really important is the way bin Laden's message has changed. Pay attention to such statements as "Any state that does not mess with our security has naturally guaranteed its own security." Isn't that a far cry from the threats and exhortations he made in February 2003, a month before the Coalition entered Iraq to remove Saddam? In that message, he spoke directly to the terrorists in Iraq (whom the Left insists were not there), telling them that American soldiers were cowards. "Our mujahedeen brothers in Iraq," he said to them, "don't worry about American lies concerning their power and their smart bombs and laser ones." Bin Laden spoke of establishing "the rule of Allah on Earth" and urged his followers to "fight ye against the friends of Satan" in 2003. Now, he begs for a truce, hoping for a badly-needed breathing space in which to regroup, rebuild and recruit. We must not give him that reprieve, especially now that he wants it badly enough to ask.

The War on Terror is not a rhetorical device, as some on the Left have called it for political purposes. Terrorism has certainly never been a "nuisance," either... at least not to the thousands of unsuspecting innocents who have died in terrorist attacks by Islamic fundamentalists over the last quarter-century. It's also not a manhunt for some sort of comic book Super Terrorist. Killing bin Laden or any other single person will not stop global terrorism from being used as a tool by the leaders of rogue nations. It's the only way to fight their more powerful enemies -- like us -- indirectly and without culpability. Not even killing or capturing every member of al-Qaeda would do so, though al-Qaeda's purpose is to coordinate terrorist groups around the world (hence their name, which means "the base"). Other terrorists would fill that void, whatever they call their particular group. The global reach of terrorism is a function of countries working with these groups, and it is they who must ultimately be confronted. They must be convinced to give up their support of terrorism, either through diplomacy (as in Pakistan and Libya) or by force (as in Afghanistan and Iraq). Which path will Syria and Iran choose? The ball is in their courts.

And in the most important way, it's in ours as well. Soon we will choose the way in which we fight terrorism in the future. That's exactly what this election comes down to. John Kerry's dogged reliance on international agreements and law enforcement methods would be a return to the same ineffective methods of dealing with terror we employed all through the 1990's. While ignoring the nations sponsoring terrorism, we wasted our efforts in arresting and prosecuting individual terrorists as though they were common criminals... as though they were no more than the "nuisance," John Kerry claimed they once were. No terrorist attack was ever deterred by the fear of arrest or prosecution. In fact, very few terrorist attacks were prevented by purely law enforcement methods at all. If that method of dealing with terrorism were effective, 9/11 would never have happened.

Although Kerry insists that he would hunt down terrorists "whatever it takes," he believes the War on Terror is limited to al-Qaeda alone, particularly Osama bin Laden. His statements that President Bush "took his eye off the ball" and that Iraq was "a profound diversion from the battle against our greatest enemy -- al Qaeda" tell us that he would change the way we fight this war. Kerry continues this line of rhetoric despite the fact that General Tommy Franks, the man in charge of the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns, flatly refutes it. According to General Franks, "President Bush never 'took his eye off the ball' when it came to Osama bin Laden. The war on terrorism has a global focus. It cannot be divided into separate and unrelated wars, one in Afghanistan and another in Iraq." Franks also stated, "According to Mr. Kerry, we 'outsourced' the job to Afghan warlords. As commander of the allied forces in the Middle East, I was responsible for the operation at Tora Bora, and I can tell you that the senator's understanding of events doesn't square with reality." Oddly enough, Kerry praised the strategy of using indigenous troops more familiar with the terrain at the time. In December 2001, Kerry said, "I think we have been smart, I think the administration leadership has done it well and we are on right track," and, "I think we have been doing this pretty effectively and we should continue to do it that way." Kerry also said, "Terrorism is a global menace. It's a scourge. And it is absolutely vital that we continue, for instance, [with] Saddam Hussein."

It's clear that Afghanistan and Iraq were the first parts of an overall strategy to confront nations that sponsor global terror, a strategy that John Kerry would not energetically pursue. Iran is the primary sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East. Once both Afghanistan and Iraq are firmly under the control of their own people, our allies will surround Iran. If Iran continues to harbor and sponsor terrorists and build nuclear weapons, we will only need to blockade the Straits of Hormuz -- their main transportation route for oil exports -- for their economy to be in danger of collapse. The only cure for terrorism is democratic reform, and Iran is already on the verge of a democratic revolution. Once Iran gives up its sponsorship of global terror and pursuit of banned weapons, North Korea will have lost all of its main customers for illegal weapons and partners in proliferating nuclear knowledge -- Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Iran. With no outlet for its only exports, North Korea's economy will also face collapse, unless they fully dismantle their nuclear weapons programs.

That's the path President Bush has put us on -- a path that will lead to a safer world in the long run, though it will not be easy or quick. He told us so right from the beginning, if you were listening. On 20 September 2001, President Bush told the nation:

"Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there.  It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated... We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest.  And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism.  Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.  From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."

President Bush is fighting terror with a long-term comprehensive strategy, like a game of chess. John Kerry is planning to fight terrorism like a game of checkers -- make a move, see how your opponent responds, react to his move. Kerry would fight a defensive war, concentrating on reactive strategies like searching incoming ships and increasing funding to those who would respond to the carnage of an attack. While those are good ideas in any case, no amount of money or manpower can possibly search all incoming  ships, nor patrol every inch of our huge borders. No matter how high we build the walls around our country, it would only take one clever or lucky terrorist to debase all the defenses we can create. The only effective way to fight terrorism is to convince the nations that support it to stop. Or else.

The question is, "or else what?" Which candidate has shown that he would use force if necessary to stop rogue nations that support terrorism, even without the approval of France? Our security must come first to our President. Bush would trade our global popularity for safety. Kerry would trade safety for our global popularity. Given the choice, I'd prefer to be safe and unpopular.

Posted at Sunday, October 31, 2004 by CavalierX
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Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Will the "October Surprise" Explosives Blow Up In Kerry's Face?

On 25 October 2004,the New York Times ran a front-page story: "Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq." The Times warned readers that "380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations." They didn't even mention that more than 400,000 tons of explosives and munitions have been secured by Coalition forces in Iraq. Other so-called "mainstream" media outlets joined this seeming devastating attack on President Bush. Senator Kerry seized on the accusation that the President was responsible for "losing" 380 tons of dangerous HMX and RDX explosives, which the Times was quick to point out "could produce bombs strong enough to shatter airplanes or tear apart buildings."

And it's missing! And it's all Bush's fault! Desperate for any attack on the President that might stick, the Kerry campaign rushed out a press release attacking him. "[T]his administration failed to guard those stockpiles – where nearly 380 tons of highly explosive weapons were kept. Today we learned that these explosives are missing, unaccounted for and could be in the hands of terrorists," the Kerry team trumpeted. "Terrorists could use this material to kill our troops and our people, blow up airplanes and level buildings." Kerry went on to accuse President Bush of "unbelievable incompetence" over the missing explosives, using the theme in speeches and even a TV ad... all produced within hours. Kerry doesn't seem to realise that he's actually accusing the troops of incompetence by this attack... not that he would stop it if he did.

Suddenly, these missing weapons are the centerpiece of Kerry's attack strategy, as reported by -- what else? -- the New York Times. "Iraq Explosives Become Issue in Campaign," the Times announced in a brilliant example of the media making, not reporting, the news. Kerry continued his attack in campaign speeches. "This is one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the great blunders of this administration. The incredible incompetence of this president and his administration has put our troops at risk and put our country at greater risk than we ought to be." John Edwards came out of whatever spider-hole he's been hiding in the last few weeks to say, "It is reckless and irresponsible to fail to protect and safeguard one of the largest weapons sites in the country." The Times story continued, "Mr. Kerry's surrogates, from his adviser Joe Lockhart to Madeleine K. Albright, the former secretary of state, were deployed on the airwaves to repeat the case, describing in detail how many car bombs, larger explosions or nuclear triggers could be fabricated from the high explosives." Nuclear triggers? But I thought Saddam had nothing capable of being used to make WMDs! Somehow, I must have been mishearing every Liberal on Earth for the last year and a half. Suddenly they're claiming that Saddam had stockpiles of dangerous materials that could be used by terrorists to attack America, possibly with nuclear weapons! It's the biggest flip-flop in history!

The rest of the story gets even more entertaining, as the plot thickens.

According to the LA Times, the CBS show "60 Minutes" was planning to run the missing explosives story on Sunday 31 October, less than two days before the election. 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager said, "our plan was to run the story on [Oct.] 31, but it became clear that it wouldn't hold, so the decision was made for the Times to run it." This "news" story was planned to break hours before the election, specifically in order to influence the vote. But that's not all! According to the New York Sun, Mohammed El Baradei, head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was the person who focused attention on the missing explosives by addressing the issue in a letter to the UN Security Council last week. It's almost impossible to imagine that Mr. El Baradei would be unaware of the impact of an accusation made a week before such a tight election. The Bush administration has already stated that they would not support him for another term as head of the IAEA, which he announced he was seeking just a week before sending the letter. Even a four-year-old child could connect the dots between El Baradei and the UN, the NY Times and CBS, and John Kerry -- who has made his intentions to center his foreign policy (should he be elected) around increasing the power of the UN abundantly clear.

However, like the last CBS story intended to destroy President Bush -- the now-infamous National Guard story based on forged documents -- this one turns out to be false as well. The explosives that Kerry, the media and the UN accuse President Bush of losing were already gone when US troops first arrived on the scene. Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the IAEA, reported that the bunkers at Al-Qaqaa were tagged and sealed on 15 March, five days before the war began. Elements of the 3rd Infantry Division arrived on 4 April, nearly three weeks after the bunkers were sealed. The troops checked out the site and found conventional weapons, but no high explosives, Army officials told NBC News. CBS News reported a fairly thorough search of the al-Qaqaa site by the 3rd ID, which found "thousands of boxes of white powder, nerve agent antidote and Arabic documents on how to engage in chemical warfare." No report mentioned finding UN-tagged explosives. They left the next day.

Six days later, the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne arrived, with an embedded NBC reporter named Lai Ling Jew, and also saw no sign of the IAEA-marked explosives during a 24-hour stay, although no more than a cursory patrol of the site was conducted. After that, the dozens of trucks needed to move 380 tons of explosives would have been noticeable on roads full of Coalition vehicles, to say the least. It would have taken truck convoys... like those the Iraq Survey Group confirmed were moving into Syria right before the war in Iraq began. Hmm.

If this is really the best line the Democrats can come up with, they need another four years of practice.

UPDATE: 27 Oct 2004 - It appears that not only were the explosives from al-Qaqaa moved into Syria before the war began, but they were "almost certainly" moved by the Russian military, according to John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security.

UPDATE: 28 Oct 2004 - Kerry adviser Mike McCurry said, "From some of the Pentagon reporting today, there is a window that’s available there where either just prior to or just after the invasion, there could have been an opportunity for either Saddam to move the weapons or for something happening after that facility had been abandoned. And that is up to the administration to best determine how to answer that question when that happened." This whole sorry episode would be a joke, if it wasn't an attempt to hijack the White House through lies..

UPDATE: 29 Oct 2004 - Now, what could these trucks be doing at Al-Qaaqa two days before the Coalition entered Iraq? Meals on Wheels?

Posted at Tuesday, October 26, 2004 by CavalierX
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Saturday, October 23, 2004
Exploding Liberal Myths 7: Fidel Castro, Demigod?

Most people know by now that Fidel Castro fell off a stage, apparently breaking his knee and arm, after making a commencement speech. The people of Cuba would be a lot better off had it been his neck. Despite the way Oliver Stone and many other Hollywood halfwits consider Castro some sort of demigod, he's just another thug that managed to hijack an entire country for his own personal aggrandisement. Steven Spielberg called his dinner with Castro "the eight most important hours of my life." Jack Nicholson said, "He is a genius." Naomi Campbell called Castro "a source of inspiration to the world." However, the harsh reality is a bit different, as Human Rights Watch reported in 1999: "The denial of basic civil and political rights is written into Cuban law. In the name of legality, armed security forces, aided by state-controlled mass organizations, silence dissent with heavy prison terms, threats of prosecution, harassment, or exile. Cuba uses these tools to restrict severely the exercise of fundamental human rights of expression, association, and assembly. The conditions in Cuba's prisons are inhuman, and political prisoners suffer additional degrading treatment and torture. In recent years, Cuba has added new repressive laws and continued prosecuting nonviolent dissidents while shrugging off international appeals for reform and placating visiting dignitaries with occasional releases of political prisoners."

The State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor publishes an annual report on human rights abuses in various countries. The 2003 report on Cuba contains numerous specific examples of the following:

  • During the year... human rights activists were arrested for acts such as possessing and publicly displaying human rights literature, receiving money and medicine from abroad for families of political prisoners, communicating with international media organizations, and organizing meetings and demonstrations to call for political reforms.
  • Prison conditions remained harsh and life threatening, and the Government restricted medical care to some prisoners as a method of control. Prisoners died in jail due to lack of medical care.
  • The Constitution prohibits abusive treatment of detainees and prisoners; however, members of the security forces sometimes beat and otherwise abused human rights advocates, detainees, and prisoners. The Government took no steps to curb these abuses. There continued to be numerous reports of disproportionate police harassment of black youths.
  • The Government continued to subject persons who disagreed with it to what it called acts of repudiation. At government instigation, members of state-controlled mass organizations, fellow workers, or neighbors of intended victims were obliged to stage public protests against those who dissented from the Government's policies... Those who refused to participate in these actions faced disciplinary action, including loss of employment.
  • Detainees and prisoners, both common and political, often were subjected to repeated, vigorous interrogations designed to coerce them into signing incriminating statements, to force collaboration with authorities, or to intimidate victims.
  • [T]he Constitution states that all legally recognized civil liberties can be denied to anyone who actively opposes the decision of the people to build socialism. The authorities routinely invoked this sweeping authority to deny due process to those detained on purported state security grounds.
  • Authorities sometimes employed false charges of common crimes to arrest political opponents.
  • The Penal Code includes the concept of "dangerousness," defined as the "special proclivity of a person to commit crimes, demonstrated by his conduct in manifest contradiction of socialist norms." If the police decide that a person exhibits signs of dangerousness, they may bring the offender before a court or subject him to therapy or political reeducation.
  • The Constitution provides for citizens' freedoms of speech and press insofar as they "conform to the aims of socialist society"; this clause effectively bars free speech.
  • The Constitution states that print and electronic media are state property and can never become private property.

It's impossible to understand why so many so-called Liberals support this monster. Especially confusing is his rabid support among the Hollywood Left, when he embodies the antithesis of everything all true Americans love -- free speech, liberty, prosperity, autonomy and justice. Their hypocrisy is stunning; they praise Castro, who is actually guilty of all the human rights abuses they falsely impute to President Bush... whom they condemn. For example, Liberals are chronically overwrought over nonexistent abuses of the PATRIOT Act, which allows the exact same methods already used to investigate organised crime and serial murders to investigate terrorism (surely, at least, a combination of both crimes). If their claims about its use to "destroy" free speech were actually true, then they should be overjoyed to be living in a more Cuba-like workers' paradise.

The best response to Castro's injury came from the Bush administration itself. During the daily press briefing on 21 October, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher was asked about the official response to the news. You'll get no mealy-mouthed, nuanced, appeasing, falsely sympathetic pandering to totalitarian dictators from this President, that's for sure.

MR. BOUCHER: We heard that Castro fell. There are, I think, various reports that he broke a leg, an arm, a foot, and other things, and I'd guess you'd have to check with the Cubans to find out what's broken about Mr. Castro. We, obviously, have expressed our views about what's broken in Cuba.
QUESTION: Do you wish him a speedy recovery?

No one is quite sure what John Kerry's stance on Cuba is. In March 2004, he told a Florida crowd, "I'm pretty tough on Castro," and "I voted for the Helms-Burton legislation to be tough on companies that deal with him." In truth, he was one of only 22 Senators that voted against the 1996 measure to toughen sanctions against the dictator. He has also voted to loosen travel restrictions and controls on how much cash Cuban-Americans can send to the island. Kerry argued that "the embargo only strengthens Castro by excluding American culture." In 2000, Kerry told the Boston Globe that a reappraisal of the embargo was "way overdue." Tough indeed.

I wonder why those on the Left haven't yet blamed President Bush for tripping Castro? After all, they blame him for 9/11 (which was planned since 1996), the "bad" economy (which they refuse to admit has been improving for three years, since the 4th quarter of 2001), and the fact that the countries in Saddam's back pocket wouldn't fight him with us. They blame the President for high gas prices (because it's his fault we haven't been allowed to build a new refinery since 1976 due to environmentalists) and high oil prices (because he caused China's economy to boom and consume oil at unprecedented rates). They blame Bush for the lack of flu vaccines (because surely he was the party responsible for driving the vaccine business overseas in the 1980s, and then contaminating the batch that was due to be sold to us). When they think we're not looking, they even blame him for hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and volcanoes (because he didn't sign the economy-destroying Kyoto treaty, which the Senate rejected by a 95-0 vote in 1997) and probably for the lack of anything worth watching on over 200 channels of cable TV as well. So why haven't they blamed President Bush for Castro's broken knee?

Perhaps the "October Surprise" this election cycle will be a fake memo from President Bush to the CIA instructing them to plant a banana peel on the stage. Get Dan Rather on the line; he'll want to investigate that.

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 6: A Less Safe Post-Iraq
Exploding Liberal Myths 5: The Moral United Nations
Exploding Liberal Myths 4: Runaway Global Warming
Exploding Liberal Myths 3: Outsourcing Woes
Exploding Liberal Myths 2: The Eeevil PATRIOT Act
Exploding Liberal Myths 1: Nigerian Uranium  

Posted at Saturday, October 23, 2004 by CavalierX
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Wednesday, October 20, 2004
For What Shall It Profit A Democrat?

I began to write a satire in which John Kerry accused President Bush of wanting to draft senior citizens to work in Halliburton's clandestine oil rigs, but it didn't seem funny. I scrapped it and began again, writing a spoof news report in which Kerry blamed Bush for the Black Death. That didn't seem very funny, either... then I realised why. If he thought it would gain him a single vote, Kerry would actually make these denunciations and more.

If you listen to the wild accusations and unfounded charges Kerry and his mouthpieces are leveling at President Bush, it seems that the Democrats are growing increasingly desperate. Almost 18 solid months of nonstop Bush-bashing, and they still can't quite manage to push Kerry ahead of the President in the polls to any degree. As Kerry winds down towards the end of his unusually negative campaign, it's clear that the only thing that keeps him from going under is the rhetoric of hate and fear. Whenever the news of the day can be spun to make Bush look bad, Kerry gains a temporary point or two. As long as he and his surrogates keep churning out the muck, Kerry's campaign can tread water. According to the Democrats, President Bush will steal your Grandma's social security check, draft everyone between the ages of 18 and 35 to die in wars of conquest, turn anyone left alive in the country into a corporate slave, insist on a throne instead of a seat at the UN, destroy the environment (presumably just because he hates it so), and personally infect any surviving Americans with the flu out of sheer malice. That's not America they're having drug-induced nightmares about -- it's Mordor! It's almost incomprehensible how they manage to make these allegations with straight faces. No wonder they seem so chummy with most Hollywood actor types and vice-versa... there's a hint of professional respect there. When asked why there's not the slightest hint of evidence of any such evil and violent purposes, not to mention the fact that no President could act on those intentions without the backing of Congress, glib Democrats tell gullible potential voters that these are all Bush's Secret Evil Plans, for Doing Evil Things in Secret. Of course you can't prove their existence -- They hide the evidence too well! Democrats aren't merely out of touch with mainstream America, they're getting out of touch with reality altogether. Are you really dumb enough to swallow this kind of two-dimensional cartoonish fantasy hype? John Kerry is counting on it.

Kerry's campaign digs itself a deeper hole every day with this sort of baseless drivel. Not even the miracle cures promised by John Edwards (if he and Kerry are elected) can save the Democrats from the mud they've chosen to cover themselves with. Even if they somehow manage to convince enough people to vote for Kerry out of hate and fear, the low moral standards of Democrat campaigning has still doomed them. Not being a religious person, I'm not given to quoting the Bible. (In fact, I'll admit that I'm really quoting the Bruce Willis/Tom Hanks movie "Bonfire of the Vanities," based on the Tom Wolfe novel.) But one question from that book applies to the Left: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? * 

John Edwards promised that "If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." Hallelujah! John Kerry scares young people and parents with hints about "the great potential of a draft," though every responsible person in the chain of command, up to and including President Bush, has unequivocally stated that there will definitely not be a draft. (In reality, the only people who proposed a draft were Democrats, and that as a political tool. Therefore, it must be a Secret Evil Plan!) Both Kerry and Edwards feel it's "fair game" to drag Dick Cheney's daughter Mary into the conversation when the subject of gay marriage comes up. Don't they know any other gay people? Kerry even accuses the President of responsibility for the shortage of flu shots... despite the fact that the only reason flu vaccines are in short supply, and manufactured overseas, is that manufacturers are too liable to litigation. By definition, after all, vaccines make some people sick. According to Jim Copeland of the Manhattan Institute, "From the early to mid-1980s, as tort litigation exploded, the number of U.S. vaccine manufacturers fell from 15 to three... So Congress took vaccines out of the courts and instead created a 'no-fault' system, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program... In recent years, however, the congressional safeguards have been eroded as enterprising trial lawyers have circumvented the law." Logic and reason, however, will not stop Kerry and Edwards from fear- and hate-mongering in hopes of scraping up enough votes to win the White House. No lie too big, no issue too small, no slander too vile to be used by Democrats to attack Bush.

The Democrats have already lost their souls in this drive for power. Whether it shall profit them is up to you.

* Note to the overly sensitive rabidly anti-religious reader: substitute "that which is moral, noble and ideal in the human heart" if the phrase "his own soul" gives you galloping hysteria. Sheesh.

Posted at Wednesday, October 20, 2004 by CavalierX
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Sunday, October 17, 2004
An Open Letter to the Undecided Voter

The polls keep telling us there are still undecided voters out there. It's hard to believe, but I imagine they're the people who don't really pay attention to all the political stuff until they have to -- the way I used to be, in fact. The downside is that with less than a month to go, it's hard for them to get all the information they need, with all the Democrats spinning and spouting talking points like mad, aided by the "mainstream" media. Several times I've been asked why an undecided voter would choose to vote for President Bush. This is my answer. Feel free to pass it on.

First of all, and most importantly, President Bush has precisely the right idea on how to fight terrorism. Not only do we have to fight individual terrorists, but every nation or group that harbors, supplies, trains, or uses terrorists to attack their enemies must stop doing so. Their leaders must renounce the support of terror -- as Libya and Pakistan have done -- or face sanctions and diplomatic pressure -- as Syria does now -- culminating in the use of force if necessary. Al-Qaeda is Arabic for "the base." They're not an isolated group; their aim is to coordinate the activities of all terrorist groups, even non-Islamic ones like the Basque terror group ETA. This war is not about one group -- or one man, though Democrats like to characterise the entire war on terror as a single-minded manhunt for Osama bin Laden. It's far bigger than that. Kerry's idea is to fight al-Qaeda (and what if they change their name?) by negotiation and law enforcement means. You can't stop dictators from employing terror as a weapon by going to the UN, which gives them legitimacy and power. You can't stop them by arresting the foot soldiers of terror after they commit their "crimes." It's the same approach Clinton used, and it never stopped a single terrorist attack. That method doesn't work.

It's ridiculous to say that Iraq was a bad idea, or a diversion from the war on terror. Because Saddam has been removed, we don't have to wonder what he had hidden, or whether he would use it against us. We don't have to worry about his using the threat of WMDs to rule Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran. He refused to come clean despite 12 years and 17 UN resolutions, and was too great a threat based on his past behavior to leave alone. He was on the list of terror-sponsoring nations since the list was first created, with ties to several terror groups as well as international terror leaders like Abu Nidal. As a result of the war in Iraq, 25 million Iraqis no longer have to live under his regime of terror, torture and totalitarian brutality. Because we removed Saddam, we've uncovered and stopped the Pakistan nuclear proliferation ring, and Moammar Ghaddafi of Libya has renounced his WMD programs -- which were closer to fruition than we'd ever dreamed -- and his links to global terror. If Saddam had done so, it would have stopped the war. More importantly, perhaps, we've uncovered the extent of the corruption within the UN itself, as Saddam had turned the Oil-for-Food program into his personal cash cow. The Duelfer report revealed that Saddam was only awaiting the end of the sanctions to start brewing WMDs again, which he could have done within weeks. He never gave up his intention to do so, nor to use them to make himself a world power. We would have had to face him down sooner or later, and sooner was better, while he was still relatively weak.

On the subject of foreign relations, you must know that every policy proposal Kerry has put forward has already failed, yet he keeps plugging away. France, Germany and Russia have rejected Kerry's plan for them to send troops to Iraq. Iran has rejected Kerry's plan to give them nuclear fuel to stop them from making nuclear fuel (must be a nuance thing). China and Japan have rejected Kerry's plan to open bilateral talks with North Korea, after they have spent years working with us to get Kim Jong Il to allow six-way multilateral negotiations. Even Kerry's plan to import cheaper Canadian drugs has been rejected by over 30 Canadian drug companies. What does that mean for us, if Kerry gets elected? We will have no actual plans to deal with any of the current problems in the world that anyone -- except Kerry -- agrees with. And with the way he and his advocates have been insulting every country in the world that helped us in Iraq, he won't be able to find any allies among them. His own sister went to Australia, one of our biggest allies in Iraq, to campaign against Prime Minister Howard. She told the Aussies that they were in danger of a terrorist attack because they sent troops to Iraq, which Howard's opponent pledged to withdraw. Good on the Aussies, who re-elected Howard anyway.
On the economy, Bush also has the right idea. Cutting taxes gives small businesses the chance to expand and grow, as they have been doing for 11 straight quarters. The job numbers you hear about from the "mainstream" media are only half the story -- the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes both the Payroll Survey, which covers only large, established corporations, and the Household Survey, which covers small businesses, entrepreneurs, startups and consultants. As National Review Online noted after checking with the BLS: "Real-estate agents, general contractors, and self-employed professionals such as lawyers, accountants, and financial planners just aren’t part of [the Payroll] number." The Payroll survey is the only one that ever gets any media attention, but it's not the group which benefits most from the tax cuts. For instance, remember the disappointing August job creation numbers? The media and Democrats were crowing over the low payroll figure of 32,000 (later upgraded to 73,000), while totally ignoring the household figure of 629,000 new jobs created by small businesses! More businesses, more people working means more tax revenue, even at the lower rate. It's like an elementary school math problem: which makes you more money, 5 pies sold at $5 each, or 8 pies sold at $4 each, if it costs you $1 to make each pie? More tax revenue combined with spending controls means the deficit will shrink -- the projections show it'll be cut in half in five years. It also means more people NOT dependent on the government for their income, which means more individual freedom.

The Democrats are running a fear campaign about outsourcing, which has been happening since the Industrial Revolution as technology progresses in some places faster than others. They don't want you to know that insourcing has more than offset outsourcing -- just look up how many factories Hyundai, Samsung, Nissan, Honda and Mercedes have opened in the US. Companies like Turck (Germany), ING (Holland), Nestle (Switzerland) and Gamesa (Spain) among many others employ tens of thousands of Americans right here in America. The Democrats are only telling you one side of the free trade story.
One more thing about the economy: how can the Democrats complain that President Bush hasn't given enough money to certain programs while simultaneously complaining about the deficit? Their biggest complaint about No Child Left Behind and Medicare is not that too much money was spent on them, but that not ENOUGH money was spent! First, please remember that Congress holds the purse-strings, not the President. Second, it's just the Democrats' way of complaining, as they have always done, about spending money on the military... which, quite frankly, is the only Constitutionally-mandated legitimate government expense. It was due to Clinton's slashing of the military that we had to send the National Guard to fight a war, when their job is supposed to be guarding the homeland. Now John Kerry is complaining that they didn't have enough ammunition and body armor... which is strange, because he voted not to fund ammunition and body armor for them after they were already in combat. There is no excuse for that.
As for the fear of President Bush's religion influencing the decisions he makes... as an agnostic myself, it doesn't scare me. Almost all our Presidents have been very religious men. The majority of Americans are religious people. The fact that he's religious means he has moral values and principles, which our leaders should always have. The fact that he's open about it lets us know what those values are. Don't forget that the President does not act alone; Congress passes and repeals Federal laws (except, of course, when laws are created or struck down by judicial fiat, which needs to be stopped). This country was founded on laws derived from Judeo-Christian principles. English common law was (rather loosely) based on the Ten Commandments, as per William Blackstone's "Commentaries." Our own documents and monuments are full of references that prove the existence of this rather benign relationship. What his religion DOES influence is his compassion for others. I prefer a President who wants to do the right thing, who wants to help others, who has moral values that don't change and principles that don't bend with the wind. I don't think I could respect a President who says that he views abortion as murder (for instance), but doesn't mind if it happens every day. 
Oh, one more thing while we're on the subject of principles: the French. They didn't just vote against us in the Security Council, they actively lobbied other countries on the council to vote against us, all on Saddam's behalf. They sold him their vote on the Security Council in return for oil. They sold the brutal dictator weapons and spare parts with which to fight us, right up until the eve of war. They vetoed the proposed 18th resolution on Iraq before Iraq even got a chance to read it! They chose to side with our enemy, as did the Russians and Chinese, who also had oil deals with him. Jacques Chirac chose oil contracts over France's 200 years of cooperation and friendship with America, and over doing what was right to help the Iraqi people. Chirac is no friend of ours, and it's time we stop pretending that he is. For that matter, the United Nations itself is the most corrupt, morally bankrupt collection of international criminals, totalitarian dictators and terrorist supporters ever assembled outside of a Bond film. President Bush will work with them as much as possible, but when work needs to be done and they balk and dither, they're the ones in the wrong. Take the current situation in Sudan as a prime example. Nothing will be done to help the poor people of Darfur until the US decides to do it. When we do, the cries of "imperialist!" and "warmonger!" will echo in the UN building once again, even as we "unilaterally" prevent a second Rwanda. I really don't believe Kerry would act in Darfur if the UN refuses to, do you?
Last, but not least, you might also want to consider the character and nature of America. The Democrats' main attacks on President Bush rather closely resemble the top ten attacks on him published by the Communist Party: outsourcing jobs, no "free" health care, no tighter corporate restrictions in the name of the environment, tax cuts "for the rich," false claims of his attacking civil rights, and so on. That should demonstrate to you that the Democrats are a little TOO far to the Left to lead a nation which supposedly values individual achievement, personal freedom coupled with personal responsibility, and all of whose citizens are guaranteed the most energetically defended and expansive rights of any nation on Earth.

Posted at Sunday, October 17, 2004 by CavalierX
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Thursday, October 14, 2004
Playing Dirty Politics with Dick's Daughter

Election year 2004 will doubtless go down in history as the year the Democrats outed themselves in public. Their long pretense at being the party of tolerance, caring and diversity has rung hollow for years, and their behavior this year has already ended the masquerade. There are no depths to which the Democrats will not sink in their feverish quest to regain power.

In January 2004, I theorised that the reason Dick Gephardt lost his bid for the Democratic nomination was due to the outspoken gay activism of his daughter Chrissy (See Dick Gephardt's Swan Song). I speculated that the prospect of a gay activist living in the White House might have been the deciding factor that persuaded some of the Democrats in Iowa (not the most Liberal state) to cast their votes for Kerry or Edwards instead. A poll of Iowans conducted in September 2003 showed a 65% opposition to gay "marriage," some of which surely must have been reflected in the votes.

The simple fact is that 60% of Americans overall do not want to allow gay marriages. Only 29% support it, no matter how many Liberals legislate it into being... as the Massachusetts Supreme Court did last year over the objections of the majority. The so-called "swing states" where this election will be decided show strong opposition to the subject. 52% of Michigan voters even support a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. 62% of Missourans and the same percentage of New Mexicans favor the ban. 56% of likely voters in Ohio, one of the most hotly contested states, supported a state ban on gay marriage.

Most of these "undecided" voters don't pay any attention to politics at all until the last few weeks. It would be a fair bet that most of them had no idea that one of Dick Cheney's daughters is gay. John Kerry and John Edwards cold-bloodedly planned to use the fact that Dick Cheney's daughter Mary is gay to drive undecided voters out of the Bush camp into their own. It might also have the effect of moving Cheney and the Republican base apart, causing some of them to withhold their votes. During the vice presidential debate, Edwards was asked about the proposed Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. His answer began: "Now, as to this question, let me say first that I think the vice president and his wife love their daughter. I think they love her very much. And you can't have anything but respect for the fact that they're willing to talk about the fact that they have a gay daughter, the fact that they embrace her. It's a wonderful thing. And there are millions of parents like that who love their children, who want their children to be happy."

Now, Edwards' shamelessly throwing Ms. Cheney into the spotlight might have simply been interpreted as an attempt to rattle his opponent during a debate. As heartless and underhanded as that would have been, it was only half the story. During the third presidential debate, John Kerry did the same thing while debating President Bush! In response to the question, "Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?" Senator Kerry began his response: "We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as."

What earthly reason did Kerry have for dragging Cheney's daughter into the debate? Is she the only gay person he knows by name? He couldn't even give an actual quote from Ms. Cheney; he had to invent a response he supposed she might have given if asked the question. How does he know what she would have felt or said?

Using someone's children to attack him or her is a gutter tactic at best. The Cheneys are understandably upset at the repeated use of their daughter as a tool. Lynne Cheney said: "I am speaking as a mom, and a pretty indignant mom. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick." Kerry's attempt to backtrack, saying that he "was trying to say something positive about the way strong families deal with the issue," sounds hollow... especially in light of the fact that both John Edwards and Campaign Manager Mary Beth Cahill characterised Mary Cheney's sexual orientation as "fair game." Elizabeth Edwards inexplicably called Lynne Cheney's indignation at the way her daughter's personal life is being used as a political football indicative of "a certain amount of shame with respect to her daughter's sexual preferences."

Kerry's purpose was to drive a wedge between the Bush-Cheney team and any socially conservative voters -- whatever their party -- in the swing states. He and Edwards planned in advance to insert Mary Cheney's sex life into their debates when the question of gay marriage inevitably came up. Whether their supporters in the so-called "mainstream" media are aiding them consciously (by overplaying the story) is immaterial, so long as everyone is reminded just weeks before the election that Dick Cheney has (gasp!) a gay daughter. It's election year dirty pool at its lowest. And it's not going to get any better before the election is over.

Of course, that probably won't be for months after election night, if I read the desperation of the Democrats correctly. If they're willing to highlight someone's sexual orientation for political gain, what won't they do? In Tennessee, Representative Craig Fitzhugh (who shares his office with the Kerry-Edwards campaign) is distributing anti-Bush flyers featuring Bush's head on the body of someone winning a Special Olympics race. The caption reads, "Voting for Bush Is Like Running In The Special Olympics: Even If You Win, You're Still Retarded." The Democrats, unmasked at last, are even willing to insult the disabled and disadvantaged for the sake of votes.

That kind of says it all, doesn't it?

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin is staying on top of the Tennessee campaign flyer story.

Posted at Thursday, October 14, 2004 by CavalierX
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Monday, October 11, 2004
Threat or Nuisance: A Handy Terrorist Guide

In January 2004, John Kerry revealed his September 10th mindset regarding terrorism when he said that he sees terrorism as "primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation." That's the same Clintonian approach to the problem that allowed al-Qaeda to grow unchecked before 9/11. Despite his recent strong statements about fighting the war on terror (almost always followed by a "but," however) Kerry still doesn't seem to understand the seriousness of the war we're fighting. In a recent New York Times Magazine interview, Kerry stated, "We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance." A nuisance? When were terrorists ever a "nuisance" to the innocent people they murdered? Could Kerry really be saying that it was right to ignore them as long as they only bombed other countries... and that it would be that way again? How can we ever go back to the ignorant, blind "place we were" before 9/11... and would we want to? 

What exactly is a "nuisance level" of terrorism, anyway? How were terrorists only a nuisance before 9/11, when they suddenly (in Kerry's world) became a threat? How can you tell when your terrorists are at that mythical, tolerable September 10th level? A handy guide might help.

Nuisance: Terrorists who set a flaming bag of dog crap on the doormat, then ring the bell and run away.
Threat: Terrorists who set up IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and run away.

Nuisance: Terrorists who give their victims a wedgie.
Threat: Terrorists who behead their victims on video.

Nuisance: Terrorists who wear outrageous clothing to make a statement.
Threat: Terrorists who commit mass murder to make a statement.

Nuisance: Terrorists who demand your lunch money.
Threat: Terrorists who demand criminals be freed from prison.

Nuisance: Terrorists who take pennies from the "take a penny" dish at the 7-11 without ever leaving one.
Threat: Terrorists who take hostages.

Nuisance: Terrorists who steal cars for a joyride.
Threat: Terrorists who blow up cars.

Nuisance: Terrorists who skip school.
Threat: Terrorists who take over schools.

Nuisance: Terrorists with spitballs.
Threat: Terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.

Nuisance: Terrorists who paint graffiti on buildings.
Threat: Terrorists who blow up buildings.

Nuisance: Terrorists who send 'spam' email.
Threat: Terrorists who send anthrax in the mail.

Nuisance: Terrorists who blast loud music while you are trying to sleep.
Threat: Terrorists who blast national monuments, mosques, churches...

Nuisance: Terrorists who spend their time hanging out at the mall.
Threat: Terrorists who spend their time plotting to blow up the mall.

Perhaps when terrorists are reduced to the threat level of high school juvenile delinquents, we can treat them as such. As long as they continue to plot mass murder and destruction, I suggest we continue to fight them -- and those who train, harbor and support them -- exactly as we've begun.

Posted at Monday, October 11, 2004 by CavalierX
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Saturday, October 09, 2004
Duelfer and the Demise of the UN

Since its inception in 1945, the core of the United Nations has been the UN Security Council (UNSC), the body responsible for carrying out the UN's promise to never again allow tyrants like Adolf Hitler to threaten the peace of the world. At the heart of the Council are its five permanent members, each of which gets an irrevocable veto on any proposal that comes up for a vote -- Russia, France, China, the United Kingdom and the USA. The idea that those five nations would cooperate with the ten elected members of the council to defuse any threats to world peace was the glue that held the Council, and the United Nations, together. Each had to trust that the others would act in the best interests of the world. The Council could decide to confront threats posed by rising tyrannies only by working together, and together would act to stop them. Like most fundamentally unworkable ideas, it's a very nice one; there's no doubt about that. In reality, very few nations will subsume their own interests to those of the entire world, if the two are incompatible. Now the trust the UNSC depended on has been shattered, the Council is broken, and the credibility of the United Nations itself is in ruins.

The Liberals who want to insist that President Bush "lied" about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction will no doubt wave a few paragraphs of Charles Duelfer’s thousand-page final report to the CIA as a victory flag. Any who do so are wrong, since all of the world's intelligence services -- not to mention almost every member of the US government -- warned us that he had them for over ten years. To claim that one man lied because he believed the years of accumulated evidence would be ridiculous. Our intelligence was compiled using the UN's own weapons inspection reports as a baseline; the UN was trusted to determine what Saddam had acquired, verify what he had destroyed, and report what he had not yet accounted for. The UN imposed sanctions on Iraq in order to force Saddam to comply with resolution after resolution demanding that he disarm, but he never did so. Duelfer's report shows that Saddam was only waiting for the sanctions to drop before his WMD programs went right back into operation. As the Washington Times summarised, "Saddam Hussein's goal through the 1990s and until the 2003 U.S. invasion was to end U.N. sanctions on Iraq, while working covertly to restore the country's ability to produce weapons of mass destruction."

Instead of enforcing those resolutions, the UN chose to create the Oil-For-Food (OFF) program, so that Saddam's intransigence would not bring undue hardship on his people. Unfortunately, that's about the only power sanctions actually have. In a democracy, the people would remove the leader who brought sanctions. In a dictatorship, that's simply not an option. The Duelfer report states that the OFF program actually allowed Saddam to remain in power, in addition to enriching him. "The introduction of the Oil-For-Food program (OFF) in late 1996 was a key turning point for the Regime. OFF rescued Baghdad’s economy from a terminal decline created by sanctions." The members of the United Nations forced the Iraqi people to suffer for twelve years rather than face up to the responsibilities they assumed in 1945. Why would they do that?

The Duelfer report proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Saddam Hussein had influenced the votes of three permanent members of the Security Council -- France, Russia and China. "One aspect of Saddam’s strategy of unhinging the UN’s sanctions against Iraq, centered on Saddam’s efforts to influence certain UNSC permanent members, such as Russia, France, and China and some nonpermanent (Syria, Ukraine) members to end UN sanctions. Under Saddam’s orders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) formulated and implemented a strategy aimed at these UNSC members and international public opinion with the purpose of ending UN sanctions and undermining its subsequent OFF program by diplomatic and economic means. At a minimum, Saddam wanted to divide the five permanent members and foment international public support of Iraq at the UN and throughout the world by a savvy public relations campaign and an extensive diplomatic effort." The three countries were promised lucrative oil deals giving them rights to rich oil fields in return for causing the sanctions to be removed. MSNBC reported, "In 1997, Russia’s LUKOIL signed contracts to develop Iraq’s West Qurna oil field. The same year, the China National Petroleum Corporation bought a 50 percent stake in the al-Ahdab oil field. (Both have been barred from developing those reserves by U.N. sanctions.) More recently, France’s TotalFinaElf has reportedly negotiated agreements to develop the much larger Majnoon field, but has not yet signed firm contracts to do so. Over the years, those deals complicated U.S. efforts to win support for tough action against Baghdad in the U.N. Security Council, where France, Russia and China are permanent members." Powerful and influential people in those countries and many more were bought with vouchers for profits on the sale of Iraqi oil. In France alone, individuals named were Charles Pascua, a former French Interior Minister, Patrick Maugein, whom the Iraqis considered a conduit to Chirac, and Michel Grimard, founder of the French-Iraqi Export Club. The oil voucher story is nothing new, having been broken by an independent Iraqi newspaper called al-Mada in January 2004, which I mentioned in February (Oil for Blood: Saddam Bought the Anti-War Movement).

Duelfer concluded that by 2001, "Saddam had managed to mitigate many of the effects of sanctions and undermine their international support. Iraq was within striking distance of a de facto end to the sanctions regime, both in terms of oil exports and the trade embargo, by the end of 1999." In 2000, the BBC described Russia, China and France as Saddam's "friends on the Security Council." University of Chicago professor Robert Pape told CNN in 2001, "U.S. policy toward Iraq doesn't have a long-term future due to international concerns over the sanctions from countries like Russia and France and from U.S. political concerns over rising gasoline prices." Now we know why the sanctions were falling apart. Even Benon Sevan, head of the OFF program, and a company associated with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's son Kojo are named as voucher recipients. The UN's toothless internal investigation, though headed by Paul Volcker, is based on voluntary cooperation. It will never yield an answer we can trust. 

Saddam had taken control of the OFF program through the provision that allowed him to choose which contractors supplied him with "allowed" materials. Duelfer reported that "the manipulation of UN OFF contracts emboldened Saddam to pursue his military reconstitution efforts starting in 1997 and peaking in 2001. These efforts covered conventional arms, dual-use goods acquisition, and some WMD-related programs." Saddam was taking kickbacks from the companies to which he awarded contracts, and pocketed over $11 billion between that and outright oil smuggling. However, one reason France, Russia and China had so much trouble getting the sanctions dropped despite their desperate lobbying was that the UN itself was making a 2.2% commission on every single transaction that took place under OFF. The United Nations made $1.2 billion from the continued misery of the Iraqi people, and saw no reason to kill the goose that was laying those golden eggs. But how could they ensure that the sanctions would remain in place?

The reports of weapons inspectors had a dual effect. On one hand, they assisted Saddam in his determination to convince the world that he retained stockpiles of illegal weapons, while keeping the hated sanctions in place on the other. According to Duelfer, Saddam feared an Iranian invasion, and saw his rumored WMD as the only deterrent. But why would the inspection reports contain such clear details about WMDs that Saddam no longer had? For instance, UNSCOM's 25 January 1999 report listed 19,180 liters of botulinum toxin produced, 10,820 liters used to fill shells, between 499 and 569 liters used in field trials, 118 liters wasted in handling, and between 7,665 and 7,735 liters reported as unilaterally destroyed. This either left 78 liters of this deadly substance missing, suggested the original amount produced was overstated by 62 liters, or something in between. Note that it only takes .09 micrograms -- less than a tenth of a millionth of a gram -- of botulinum to have a 50% chance of killing a 200 pound (90 kg) man. It was precisely this vague accounting that kept Iraq from acquiring the clean bill of health Saddam both desired and feared.

Is it possible that the UNMOVIC and UNSCOM weapons inspections reports were deliberately written in a vague way to keep the sanctions in force, so that the UN could continue to profit from them? That's a question that needs to be answered, but the UN cannot give us an answer we can trust. There was no chance, no matter how long we waited or how many diplomats we sent, that France, Russia or China would ever have allowed an invasion of Iraq. Their votes in the Security Council belonged to Saddam Hussein. The trust between members of the Council is broken. Who knows what other dictatorships have bought or would buy their votes, now that we know they're for sale? How can any vote ever be unquestioned again?

Posted at Saturday, October 09, 2004 by CavalierX
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Wednesday, October 06, 2004
A Pre-Failed Foreign Policy

Has anyone yet noticed that John Kerry's entire foreign policy platform seems to have collapsed before he even gets a chance to put it into operation? So far, every plan Kerry has advanced has been totally rejected by the foreign nations he expects to cooperate with him. Shouldn't this bother anyone who plans to vote for John Kerry? For that matter, shouldn't this news bother John Kerry? Yet he continues to repeat his pre-failed foreign policy dictums as though, once he's sitting in the Oval Office, all the foreign leaders currently telling him to get lost will begin asking what they can do to help. It's hard to understand that kind of hubris, and should be harder still to support it... especially while accusing President Bush of being arrogant towards the other countries he is actually working with.

Kerry's entire Iraq policy is centered on getting more of our "traditional allies" -- meaning France and Germany -- to send troops there. Although he and other Democrats daily label Iraq a mess, a quagmire, the "wrong war" and a mistake, Kerry has always blithely assumed that other countries were eager to send troops to take the place of American soldiers, so they could go home. The only reason they haven't, apparently, is that President Bush didn't say the secret word to make the duck drop down. The problem is that the nations Kerry is counting on to send troops have absolutely no intention of sending them under any circumstances. Kerry has said that his goal is to "replace most U.S. troops in Iraq with foreign forces within his first term." Yet according to the LA Times in August 2004, the "French and German governments have made [it] clear that sending troops is out of the question." Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Andrei Denisov, also ruled out a military deployment in Iraq. "We are not going to send anybody there, and that's all there is to say." Yet Kerry blindly continues to insist that he'll be able to gain their cooperation. During the first presidential debate with President Bush, he stated that he will "bring the allies back to the table." News flash: there is no table, Senator Kerry. The allies you want aren't coming. You've been stood up. 

It's a sure bet that he won't be able to get any cooperation from the real allies we actually have in Iraq, after he stated that the US needed to join with other countries "not in some trumped-up, so-called coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought and the extorted, but in a genuine coalition." As a result of this disrespect as well as Kerry's slight of Poland during the first presidential debate, Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski said, "It is unfortunate that a senator with 20-year experience doesn’t notice the Polish investment. It’s immoral." Kwasniewski added that he was "disappointed that our stance and the sacrifice of those soldiers are so marginalised," and opined that Kerry "thinks higher of a coalition that would include France and Germany together with the USA." Poland's premier Marek Belka said that Kerry "forgets that next to the American troops in Iraq are the British, the Australians, Poles, and also around 30 other countries that sent troops for stabilizing purposes, so it is surely a very broad coalition." Why do our true allies have to defend themselves against John Kerry?

In the same neighborhood, Iran is aggressively pursuing its nuclear program. Iran's leaders have openly declared their intention to join the "nuclear club," the name for the nations that have built nuclear weapons. "We want Iran to be recognized as a member of the nuclear club, that means Iran be recognized as a country having the nuclear fuel cycle, and enriching uranium. This is very difficult for the world to accept," said secretary of the Supreme Council for National Security Hassan Rohani in March 2004. Despite this, John Kerry seems to harbor a forlorn hope that they're just bluffing. Kerry's plan is to "offer Iran the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes," then wait and see whether they use it to build bombs. Unfortunately for John Kerry (but fortunately for nearly everyone else), Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi rejected his plan. "We have the technology (to make nuclear fuel) and there is no need for us to beg from others." Does Kerry understand that his Master Plan for stopping Iran from building nuclear weapons by giving them the means to do so has already failed? This should be no surprise -- it's the exact same plan President Clinton used to stop North Korea from building nukes in 1994... a plan that failed almost immediately, as the North Koreans simply began enriching uranium instead of using plutonium for their weapons. Where there's a will, there's a way... which is why those with the clear intent to build illegal weapons must be stopped, not appeased.

Speaking of North Korea, Kerry's plan to augment the six-way multilateral talks with unilateral talks has also already drawn fire. The "direct bilateral talks" Kerry proposes would exclude the countries that have worked so hard to bring North Korea to the table, and with the most stake in North Korea's cooperation. China, in particular, did not respond well to Kerry's plan to appease Kim Jong Il by excluding them. Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said the "entire international community" agreed that the six-nation approach was the best way to deal with North Korea's nuclear proliferation. So is John Kerry planning to go against the "entire international community" and deal with foreign nations in a unilateral fashion, after the Democrats have spent nearly two years (so far) complaining that President Bush went against the entire international community to deal with foreign nations in a unilateral fashion (a word that apparently means "with only 45 allies instead of 46")?

France, Germany, Russia and Iran have already rejected Kerry’s proposed Middle East foreign policies. His proposed North Korea policy has already been rejected by China. No one seems to be asking Kerry what "plan B" is, or whether he even has one. Maybe there's no need to do so... it seems clear from most of his campaign rhetoric that his fallback position is to go to the UN and call for summits. "I have a plan to have a summit with all of the allies," Kerry said in the first presidential debate with President Bush. While Kerry is meeting with diplomats, what does he think our enemies will be doing?

Perhaps they'll be busy holding summits of their own, like the "terror summit" held at Kuala Lumpur in 2000 to finalise the 9/11 attack plans. This time, however, probable members of the Saddam Fedayeen like Ahmed Hikmat Shakir won't be able to attend. Their boss is out of business.

UPDATE: Even Kerry's plan to import cheap drugs from Canada has failed. According to the Financial Times, 17 Oct 2004:

More than 30 Canadian internet pharmacies have decided not to accept bulk orders of prescription drugs from US states and municipalities.
The move delivers a potentially serious setback to US politicians, most notably Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, campaigning to give Americans easier access to cheap drugs from Canada.

Posted at Wednesday, October 06, 2004 by CavalierX
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Monday, October 04, 2004
Who Grades John Kerry's Global Test?

"No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."
- John Kerry,
30 September 2004

According to John Kerry, the United States has the "right" to launch a preemptive strike on an enemy, yet we "have to" do it in a way that meets international approval afterwards. That's not a right -- that's tentative permission pending a review board, with hell to pay if they conclude you made a wrong decision. Under those conditions, we would hardly be able to act at all, hamstrung by the need to please other countries, none of which would place our interests above their own. If we don't act to protect and even advance our own interests, no one else will, unless the action happens to be in their interest as well. No proposal or threat by the United States would ever be taken seriously again; fear of disapproval by "the world" would keep us on a tight leash. This is the stuff of which Liberal dreams are made, of course.

John Kerry specifically spoke of a "global test" that America needs to pass whenever we defend ourselves proactively. According to him, we have to prove that we acted "for legitimate reasons" in the estimation of "the world." Does he mean that every other country must always agree with our actions, or only certain countries -- and if so, which countries? Who, precisely, gets to grade this test? What if even one of those countries disagrees with us -- should we not act at all, even if America's leaders deem action necessary? Since when is "the world" anything like a single body of stern, yet wise and fair elders (as opposed to a squabbling group of selfish children)? Who are these wise elders we need to report to, and what gives them any right to judge us? America's actions are to be judged by the American people alone; our leaders are accountable to us before anyone else.

It seems that Kerry has held the same position his entire political career on one issue, after all. His statement about a global test is in lockstep with his 1970 declaration to the Harvard Crimson that he'd "like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations." Kerry's insistence that he only voted to give President Bush the authority to go to the United Nations to discuss Iraq, not to use military force against Iraq, is also in line with this idea that America must never deploy troops outside our borders without international approval. "The vote for authorization is interpreted by a lot of people as a vote to go to war," Kerry told the Washington Times in September 2004. "It wasn't a vote to go that day. It was a vote to go through the process of going to the U.N., building the allies and then making a judgment of whether we had to go." President Bush did, in fact, do all of this... even giving Saddam three months longer than the UN specified before imposing "serious consequences" for Iraq's non-compliance. The bill on which Kerry voted Yes in October 2002, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (Public Law 107-243), contains no provision that UN approval must be sought before using that force. It should be noted that the Authorization contained in a single document every one of the reasons the Bush administration has ever given for using military force against Iraq, which proves Kerry's claim that President Bush changed the rationale for war in Iraq after the fact to be a lie.

Kerry's position on international approval for US foreign policy decisions also explains why Kerry constantly pressed President Bush to give the UN more authority in Iraq, even after the UN abandoned the country when Sergio De Mello, the UN envoy to Iraq, was killed in a terrorist attack. Hans Von Sponeck, a former administrator for the UN oil-for-food program that had been hopelessly corrupted by Saddam, used the pullout as a demand for more UN power over Iraq. "Having lost the ability to improve the security situation for the time being, the US must now concede in the Security Council immediate responsibility on authority to the United Nations," Von Sponeck told Radio Netherlands in September 2003. In April 2004, Senator Kerry complained on 'Meet the Press' that President Bush "won’t transfer to the U.N. the real authority for determining how the government emerges, how we will do the reconstruction of Iraq."

"I'm an internationalist," John Kerry told the Harvard Crimson over thirty years ago, and certainly seems to have been faithful to that doctrine, if few others. That may be a qualification for Secretary-General of the United Nations, but not for President of the United States, to whom the welfare of the United States must always -- always -- come first.

Posted at Monday, October 04, 2004 by CavalierX
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