MartiniPundit

Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Archive for June 2005

US – India Defense Pact

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India and the United States have signed a ten-year defense pact, which is very big news (although I somehow doubt it will get the play it deserves). India is often overlooked except when someone wishes to score cheap political points by decrying outsourcing, but the subcontinent has been making great strides in recent years and by some counts will outstrip China as the world’s most populous nation in the future. Both countries have an incentive to strengthen ties, and this is a very positive step.

Winds of Change has some excellent analysis.

Written by martinipundit

June 30, 2005 at 2:52 pm

Posted in General, Politics

Sad Moments in Pettiness

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Both regular readers know I believe George Soros to be on the Grand Moonbat Council, but really:

Major League Baseball hasn’t narrowed the list of the eight bidders seeking to buy the Washington Nationals and some Republicans on Capitol Hill already are hinting at revoking the league’s antitrust exemption if billionaire financier George Soros , an ardent critic of President Bush and supporter of liberal causes, buys the team.

“It’s not necessarily smart business sense to have anybody who is so polarizing in the political world,” Rep. John E. Sweeney (R-N.Y.) said. “That goes for anybody, but especially as it relates to Major League Baseball because it’s one of the few businesses that get incredibly special treatment from Congress and the federal government.”

How completely absurd and petty. Get real Congressman and get back to work.

Written by martinipundit

June 30, 2005 at 8:46 am

President Bush’s Iraq Speech

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I was unable to listen to the full speech last night, although I did catch the back half. Delivery seemed to me to be standard Bush – not his most rousing but yeomanlike nonetheless. So it wasn’t until the morning that I read the rest – I prefer it that way in any event as one can work with the material better. The full text is here.

In short, the President said what needed to be said. He and the Administration have been far too quiet of late, and have failed to counter the drumbeat of negativity from the Democrats and the MSM. Things are going well in Iraq and in the larger GWOT, but the American people have only heard the bad, the sort of thing that goes on in any war, but not the good which is specific to this one.

In starting by thanking the troops, Bush sends a message that he, as Commander in Chief, has not forgotten them, and that he appreciates what they’re doing. This is good given certain recent statements.

The terrorists who attacked us — and the terrorists we face — murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. Their aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and oppression — by toppling governments, by driving us out of the region, and by exporting terror.

To achieve these aims, they have continued to kill — in Madrid, Istanbul, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, Bali, and elsewhere. The terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent, and with a few hard blows they can force us to retreat. They are mistaken.

It is also important to remind people just what we face. This isn’t partisan rancor — that’s bad, but we’re not going to start blowing each other up — this is a war against people who will blow you up for disagreeing with them, and more. They will blow us up because we allow women to drive wearing shorts and a halter top. They will blow us up because we allow freedom of religious expression (or none at all). They will blow us up because we are free, prosperous, successful, and optimistic. They will blow us up because they think we’re weak and decadent.

Our mission in Iraq is clear. We’re hunting down the terrorists. We’re helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We’re advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability, and laying the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren.

This has always been the mission. Far from lying or misleading us into war, the President has talked about these themes from the very beginning.

Some of the violence you see in Iraq is being carried out by ruthless killers who are converging on Iraq to fight the advance of peace and freedom. Our military reports that we have killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq who have come from Saudi Arabia and Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and others. They are making common cause with criminal elements, Iraqi insurgents, and remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime who want to restore the old order. They fight because they know that the survival of their hateful ideology is at stake. They know that as freedom takes root in Iraq, it will inspire millions across the Middle East to claim their liberty, as well. And when the Middle East grows in democracy and prosperity and hope, the terrorists will lose their sponsors, lose their recruits, and lose their hopes for turning that region into a base for attacks on America and our allies around the world.

Indeed, it’s called flypaper, and it’s working. We’re fighting the terrorists there, not here. We’re fighting the terrorists in a place with tens of thousands of the best and toughest hombres in the world. The American military is taking these guys down and training Iraqi security forces to help. Yes, we’ve had some two thousand fatalities, but this is a war. And by historical standards, one that is not very bloody for our troops. We regret the loss of each and every one of them, we regret all those who are wounded and perhaps maimed. But we have been fighting for nearly four years now, and the military losses do not equal those of 9/11. Perspective should be maintained. With every passing month, the better trained and more experienced terrorists are facing terrible attrition.

With every leader caught or killed, someone lesser takes his place. They cannot sustain operations at this level without degrading their ability to virtually nothing.

The terrorists — both foreign and Iraqi — failed to stop the transfer of sovereignty. They failed to break our Coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies. They failed to incite an Iraqi civil war. They failed to prevent free elections. They failed to stop the formation of a democratic Iraqi government that represents all of Iraq’s diverse population. And they failed to stop Iraqis from signing up in large number with the police forces and the army to defend their new democracy.

They certainly can use car bombs and IEDs to blow things up, but they cannot make headway in the things that really matter. One, because many of them are not Iraqis, and two, because those that are are merely remnants of Saddam’s regime. These guys didn’t go to Brazil, they stayed. And they’re losing.

In the past year, we have made significant progress. One year ago today, we restored sovereignty to the Iraqi people. In January 2005, more than 8 million Iraqi men and women voted in elections that were free and fair, and took time on — and took place on time. We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country. Rebuilding a country after three decades of tyranny is hard, and rebuilding while at war is even harder. Our progress has been uneven, but progress is being made.

We’re improving roads and schools and health clinics. We’re working to improve basic services like sanitation, electricity, and water. And together with our allies, we’ll help the new Iraqi government deliver a better life for its citizens.

This the second half of the strategy. In addition to flypaper, there is the beacon. Most of the people of the Middle East live under brutal oppression. They know only what their governments tell them. But the word spreads nevertheless — in Iraq, they had free elections and almost everybody came. (This is unlike the sham election in Iran where almost everybody stayed home.) In Lebanon, in Egypt, in Kuwait, even in Saudi Arabia, that election is reverberating through aftershocks as other nations in the region adjust to the new reality. (It doesn’t hurt that Dr. Rice continues to push the theme hard over there – how it must gall the Islamofascists that she’s a she.)

A free, democratic Iraq is the grenade thrown into the tent of Middle East dictatorship.

Finally, we have continued our efforts to equip and train Iraqi security forces. We made gains in both the number and quality of those forces. Today Iraq has more than 160,000 security forces trained and equipped for a variety of missions. Iraqi forces have fought bravely, helping to capture terrorists and insurgents in Najaf and Samarra, Fallujah and Mosul. And in the past month, Iraqi forces have led a major anti-terrorist campaign in Baghdad called Operation Lightning, which has led to the capture of hundreds of suspected insurgents. Like free people everywhere, Iraqis want to be defended by their own countrymen, and we are helping Iraqis assume those duties.

This is a necessity, both to relieve the burden on our own troops, but also to prove Iraqi sovereignty is real and lasting. Nothing says that like an army.

I recognize that Americans want our troops to come home as quickly as possible. So do I. Some contend that we should set a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces. Let me explain why that would be a serious mistake. Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis, who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done. It would send the wrong message to our troops, who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission they are risking their lives to achieve. And it would send the wrong message to the enemy, who would know that all they have to do is to wait us out. We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed, and not a day longer.

The only way to win a battle — and a war — is to see it through. No one ever won a battle by leaving it.

America has done difficult work before. From our desperate fight for independence to the darkest days of a Civil War, to the hard-fought battles against tyranny in the 20th century, there were many chances to lose our heart, our nerve, or our way. But Americans have always held firm, because we have always believed in certain truths. We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity, and returns to strike us again.

This is the lesson of history, and why we must confront terrorism everywhere it exists. This does not always mean militarily (although I would like to see the us take out Iran and Syria), and it does not always mean diplomacy (the likely route for the Saudis). It requires a flexible approach, and an understanding of the end goal. I believe the President has this.

After September the 11th, 2001, I told the American people that the road ahead would be difficult, and that we would prevail. Well, it has been difficult — and we are prevailing. Our enemies are brutal, but they are no match for the United States of America, and they are no match for the men and women of the United States military.

All in all, it needed to be said.

Also in the address, the President mentioned a new DoD website — AmericaSupportsYou.mil — as a place for people to go and learn ways to tangibly support the troops.

Written by martinipundit

June 29, 2005 at 9:45 am

Posted in GWOT, Iraq, Politics

Trafalgar 200

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Today marks the opening of the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, a victory which assured Great Britain’s command of the sea for the next hundred years, and which ultimately confined Napoleon to the continent. Although Admiral Horatio Nelson fell in his moment of triumph – mortally wounded by a French sharpshooter – he knew that he had won the day. (Nelson was quite battered in his time, having already lost an eye and an arm in other battles.) Warships from 35 nations have gathered at Portsmouth England to partake. Here are (bottom to top) the HMS Invincible, the USS Saipan, and the FS Charles de Gaulle:

Trafalgar200 website here, and a good description of the battle here.

Update There have been some suggestions that the French were trying to upstage the British by sending the de Gaulle – their most impressive naval unit – inasmuch as they actually lost the battle of Trafalgar. I think this is reading too much into things. Look at the picture – if size matters, the de Gaulle compares unfavorably to the HMS Invincible and definitely to the Saipan. It is important to consider that both of the latter carriers are not ‘attack’ carriers, the Invincible being what the British call a “through-deck cruiser” meant primarily for helicopters and VSTOL aircraft like the Harrier. The Invincible, by the way, is by no means a new ship, having fought in the Falklands twenty-three years ago. The Saipan, similarly, is not an aircraft carrier, but is what we in the States call an ‘amphibious assault ship.’ This means she has harriers, and helicopters, and a lot of marines. Her primary role is to project a complete battle force – air, land, and sea – at any given point, but she is not a fleet carrier like a Nimitz class.

The Charles de Gaulle, on the other hand, is the French version of a Nimitz, and she does not compare favorably at all. She carries fewer aircraft (less than half), displaces far fewer tons (look at the picture), and has proven rather cranky in actual operations. This is not surprising given that only the US has had real experience and success building nuclear-powered surface warships. Teething pains are to be expected, as the Russians found out when they tried to build ships of this sort. The de Gaulle is what she is, and that is the finest warship in the French fleet. I think it appropriate to give the French the benefit of the doubt on this one. No doubt some Gallic pride is involved, but I believe they sent the de Gaulle not to snub the British, but to honor their role in this great naval conflict. Personally, I wish we could have sent a super carrier to this review, but there is a war on.

Here is a picture of the de Gaulle in company with the USS Enterprise CVN-65 which give some idea of the relative size: 

The Enterprise was the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the world. Of course, she was commissioned in 1961 (de Gaulle in 2000), and displaces some 90,000 tons (more than twice the de Gaulle) and carries nearly 100 aircraft (de Gaulle carrries 40). If someone really wanted to upstage the British, they would have sent a ship like the Enterprise.

Written by martinipundit

June 28, 2005 at 9:30 am

Posted in History, Ships

Emily Litella Goes to Gitmo

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What’s all this I hear about a bus at Gitmo? Can’t they have buses?

Two Democratic senators just back from reviewing U.S. detention facilities and interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said they saw no signs of abuse and said it would actually be worse to close the facility and transfer the detainees elsewhere.

“I strongly prefer the improved practices and conditions at Camp Delta to the outsourcing of interrogation to countries with a far less significant commitment to human rights,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, who toured the U.S. facility along with Sen. Ben Nelson, Nebraska Democrat. …

“Everything we heard about operations there in the past, we’d have to say, was negative. What we saw firsthand was something different,” Mr. Nelson said.

 

Oh. Never mind.

Written by martinipundit

June 28, 2005 at 8:54 am

Posted in GWOT

Far Right Wackos

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Meanwhile, from the protest front, not all the moonbats are on the Left. A so-called ‘church’ group from Kansas protested the funeral of a Green Beret at the Old North Church today in Marblehead. Apparently, God hates America due to our tolerance of homosexuality:

[A] right-wing Protestant Christian church group from Topeka, Kansas is planning to demonstrate at Piper’s funeral services at the Old North Church. They claim U.S. soldiers like Piper are dying because the country is being punished for its tolerance of what they see as immoral behavior, such as homosexuality.

The group, from the Westboro Baptist Church, protested several weeks ago in Dracut and Lexington, Mass., carrying signs depicting homosexual sex, with slogans such as “Pope In Hell” and “God Hates Fags,” and “God Hates The U.S.”

Presumably the Pope is in hell because of that old “love the sinner, hate the sin” policy. Getting that one from both sides …

These people are entitled to protest, but they do themselves no good. The notion that God ‘hates’ is frankly bad enough, but the idea that God is smiting US service men and women because some people are engaging in sexual practices is Old Testament thinking to say the least. To put a finer point on it – they’re nutjobs. At least the moonbats on the Left are genuinely opposed to the war or hate America all by themselves. They feel no need to invoke the authority of the Almighty, who no doubt frowns very much on this presumption to speak in his name.

More to the point, they give ammunition to those on the Left who would refer to Christians derisively as “Christers,” and people like Howard Dean who very much want to portray people like this as the mainstream of the Republican party, and who have Bush in their pocket. To be sure, these people no doubt are convinced of the rectitude and importance of their cause, but just like those on the Left, all they really do is provide a spectacle of marginalized extremists in living color. They – and their counterparts on the Left – would do better to stay home. In the end, protesting seems to serve more often as a convenient filter to identify the lunatic fringe, than the higher purpose the Founding Fathers intended.

Some video here.

Update Well, it’s worse than I thought. I had of course heard of the so-called ‘Westboro Baptist Church,’ but hadn’t paid much attention. Maybe I should have. Here’s a picture of one of their protesters:

Indeed, indistinguishable from his counterpart on the Left, and save for the offensive ‘God’ reference, most welcome at a showing of Fahrenheit 9/11. They also have a website, with an unsurprising URL. Be careful, it’s filled with imbecilic vitriol, bigotry, and an utter and complete lack of Christian charity. There’s also a strange fecal preoccupation, along with lesser modes of excretion. By their fruits ye shall know them indeed. A taste:

Once we found nourishment, exercise and lodging, we made our way to the city of Lexington, where we would preach righteousness and shine a bright light on their evil deeds, ripping forth the razor-thin veneer of their pretension to holiness. As two-dozen God-hating fools clutched sweaty palms at St. Brigid’s whorehouse and turned their backs to us as some ill-conceived show of righteousness, Shirl, Becky, Mara, Jacob Z., Bekah, Zach, Deborah, Noah and I arrived to bear precious seed on ground that was once covered with the blood of those who fought for liberty, but now is trod by the feet of Lexingtonian zombies running to sin. Shirl announced to TV and newspaper reporters that the God that destroyed Sodom is not dead, and that there is a hell and a day of judgment and that it’s not okay to be gay. As those with children in tow approached the steps of this den of iniquity, Becky implored them not to take the children inside and reminded them of what the priests inside wanted to do to their sons. I began to lift up voice, reminding these mindless, spineless men of the flesh that the Catholic church has become, under JPII’s guidance, the largest pedophile organization in the history of man — sanctioned by every nation in the world, and that anyone who puts a penny in their plate pays the salary of pedophile rapists. I also suggested in love that it would have been infinitely less filthy for these phony, crop-headed heifers to have stayed at home and wallowed around in a bathtub full of their own crap than to have stepped over the threshold of such an evil place.

It goes on like this for some time, except that this is tamer than much of what follows. The site is filled with this dross, although it does have some (no doubt) unintentional moments of humor such as when we learn that in addition to hating America, God hates Sweden. My first thought was, “Why bother?” These are sad, pathetic, moonbats for the most part, but with a whiff of evil about them. I trust they will one day be treated to more mercy than they themselves would show.

Update II It’s been pointed out that the head of this ‘church,’ Fred Phelps, has ties to Al Gore and his family and that he calls himself a Democrat, having even run for office as a Democrat in Kansas. The fact that he’s been soundly defeated in the primaries suggests that his party affiliation may be in his head. And the chameleon-like Gore, while no doubt thoroughly rejecting Phelps’ bigotry, is enough of a moonbat himself to be an entire sub-genus of the species. The operative lesson here may very well be madness defies party labels, and that extremism of the Left and extremism of the Right often merge in unpredictable ways, thus becoming hard to distinguish. Still, this sort seems more of the rejected Falwell/Buchanan type than the embraced Moore/Dean type. The real lesson? The Right rejects its moonbats; the Left does not. Let me make this clearer: The Republicans have rejected Phelps, Duke, Buchanan and their ilk. The Democrats fete Soros, give Moore prominence at their convention, and make Dean the leader of the party. Both sides would be better off without the fringe.

Update III Eben Crawford let me know about this picture of a little boy holding a “Thank God for 9/11” sign. Get them while they’re young – no doubt one of Phelps’ many grandchildren. This group gets more disgusting by the second.

Update IV It’s been pointed out to me that not all on the liberal side of the spectrum (which is not synonymous with the Left, BTW) would agree that Moore, Soros, and Dean are moonbats. Fair enough, but in my view peddling hate is peddling hate – your mileage may vary. It is certainly true that Phelps is a much clumsier and more obvious villain than the others I’ve named.

Written by martinipundit

June 27, 2005 at 11:12 am

Michael Barone’s Take on Rove’s Statements

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I generally find Michael Barone a pretty level-headed and insightful guy, and he doesn’t disappoint on the Rove statements:

Reading the initial press accounts of Rove’s speech, I wished that he had been more specific about which liberals he was denouncing — except that, as those press accounts failed to mention, he was. “I’m not joking,” he went on immediately after the words quoted above. “Submitting a petition was precisely what Moveon.org, then known as 9-11peace.org did. You may have seen it in The New York Times or The Washington Post, the San Francisco Examiner or the L.A. Times. (Funny, I didn’t see it in the Amarillo Globe News.) It was a petition that ‘implored the powers that be’ to ‘use moderation and restraint in responding to the terrorist attacks against the United States.'”

One reason that the Democrats are squawking so much about Rove’s attack on “liberals” is that he has put the focus on a fundamental split in the Democratic Party — a split among its politicians and its voters.

On the one hand, there are those who believe that this is a fundamentally good country and want to see success in Iraq. On the other hand, there are those who believe this is a fundamentally bad country and want more than anything else to see George W. Bush fail.

Some of the latter are in denial about that, but it’s plain for the seeing. A must read.

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June 27, 2005 at 9:49 am

Supreme Court Overreach

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In other news the Supreme Court has made a spectacularly bad ruling on an eminent domain case from New London, CT, basically accepting the spurious notion that the Constitution permits the taking of one’s home if the town can generate higher tax revenues using the land for something else. I can think of nothing more repugnant to the original ideals of the early colonists. Dennis Sevakis makes the key point:

The liberals and leftists on the Court may have just slit their own wrists along with those of the politicians who fastidiously protect judicial activism and eschew Constitutional originalism. Americans are justifiably proud and jealous of their property rights. Giving corporations a proxy power to run roughshod over those rights may be a tipping point in the public’s perception of the Court as a defender of the individual against the power of the state.

For this may be a decision too far.

Indeed, do you think property values just dropped a bit in New London? Multiplying that effect across the country would have serious repercussions. More here from Stephen Bainbridge.

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June 24, 2005 at 1:34 pm

Democrats Attempt Sleight of Hand

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Oh pity the poor Democrats!

How hard it must be for them day to day, fighting the good fight (Democrats are always fighting), opposing President Bush’s every move (another fight!), weeping over detainee treatment, engaging in rhetorical ad hominem attacks, losing elections, and always, always being misunderstood.

And now they have to worry about Karl Rove! It’s enough to make a liberal weep.

So what’s going on? What has Senators Clinton, Schumer, Reid, and Kerry so upset? What on earth could have put their knickers in such a twist?

Did he say that he hates Democrats and everything they stand for? Did he say that they’re losers and liars? Did he call them miserable failures? Did he say they’ve never made an honest living? Did he hold phony impeachment hearings? Did he compare them to Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot?

Nope. None of the above. He simply told people what liberals stand for, and that, to paraphrase Churchill, is something up with which liberals will not put. So what did Rove say?

Here’s the first part:

Conservatives believe in lower taxes; liberals believe in higher taxes. We want few regulations; they want more. Conservatives measure the effectiveness of government programs by results; liberals measure the effectiveness of government programs by inputs. We believe in curbing the size of government; they believe in expanding the size of government. Conservatives believe in making America a less litigious society; liberals believe in making America a more litigious society. We believe in accountability and parental choice in education; they don’t. Conservatives believe in advancing what Pope John Paul II called a “culture of life”; liberals believe there is an absolute unlimited right to abortion.

This is a simple statement of the beliefs of each group. Pretty straightforward and absolutely true. But there was more:

But perhaps the most important difference between conservatives and liberals can be found in the area of national security. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war. Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban. In the wake of 9/11, the liberals believed it was time to submit a petition.

Now, he didn’t say Democrats, but inasmuch as most liberals are Democrats, we’ll give them a pass on that one. Still, the point is spot on. Liberals/Democrats do view terrorism as a matter for law enforcement. They do ask “why they hate us.” They say it all the time, so why the wailing and gnashing of teeth?

Mostly because they think it will distract attention from Durbin, Dean, Kennedy, Byrd, Boxer, Kerry, Biden, and the other shoot-from-the-lip Democrats. If they make a lot of noise – demanding apologies and resignations – maybe no one will notice that they’ve given Durbin a pass, that Howard Dean is still running the DNC, and Bobby Byrd was in the Klan. It’s not likely inasmuch as Rove is not an elected official and he was merely defining two opposing points of view, but it’s worth a shot, isn’t it?

Actually, it’s not. In fact, it’s a significant tactical error – one of many which are adding up to a major strategic blunder. It makes the Democrats look weak. It makes them sound like the whiny child no one likes. Kerry even trotted out the threadbare “attacking my patriotism” charge. Rove might as well have done so given Kerry’s notoriously thin skin. Imagine how shocked Kerry would be if someone actually did question his patriotism. Would he even notice?

The problem liberals/Democrats have is that those statements are an accurate assessment of their positions, and those views are out of step with the American people as proven in election after election. But who would have really noticed Rove’s speech if the Democrats hadn’t sounded the trumpet? Not many. Now a lot more people know about it, a lot of people will read Rove’s remarks, and a lot of people will say: that pretty much sums it up. The Democrats’ position on these issues is unpopular though, so they rant and demand apologies and so forth, all the while hoping no one will notice what was actually said. But all that does is convince the voters even more that these people simply cannot be trusted to defend the nation in time of war. After all, if they can dish it out but can’t take it (even when it isn’t an actual attack) how can they be expected to deal with people whose primary means of political persuasion involves bombs and beheadings?

Read the rest of Rove’s statement here.

Update Welcome Hugh Hewitt readers!

Written by martinipundit

June 24, 2005 at 8:10 am

Pelosi’s Narrow View

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Congresswoman Pelosi demonstrates the key difference in Left vs. Right perceptions:

On Tuesday, Mrs. Pelosi and three other top Democrats called for a commission to investigate reported abuses of detainees from the war on terror. Mrs. Pelosi said it is past time that the administration established a policy on determining the fates of the detainees at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, arguing that most are from Afghanistan and that the conflict there has ended.

“I assume that the war in Afghanistan is over, or is the contention that you have that it continues?” she said to a reporter.

A few moments later, she said: “This isn’t about the duration of the war. The war in Afghanistan is over.”

Basically, in Pelosi’s view, since the “war” in Afghanistan is over, the detainees should be released as prisoners of that “war.” This is exactly wrong. Afghanistan is not an isolated war. Iraq is not an isolated war. They are campaigns in the Global War on Terror (GWOT).

We didn’t say WWII was over after we drove the Gerrmans out of North Africa. It wasn’t over when we knocked Italy out of the war, or liberated the Philippines, or even when we defeated the Third Reich. It was over when Japan surrendered, and the last of the Axis powers was defeated.

This war will not be over until the terrorists themselves give up or are defeated. That means Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and anywhere else Islamofascism is hiding. It’s been a long time since the Thirty Years War, but we may be in it for that length of time. Clearly, people like Pelosi can’t handle it, but that’s the harsh truth.

Written by martinipundit

June 23, 2005 at 11:56 am

While We’re at It

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I don’t lend a lot of credence to polls, but this one from Rasmussen suggests the Democrats are losing this issue:

A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 20% of Americans believe prisoners at Guantanomo Bay have been treated unfairly. Seven-out-of-ten adults believe the prisoners are being treated “better than they deserve” (36%) or “about right” (34%).

Do you think it’s because a lot of Americans don’t see rice pilaf, chicken amandine, and providing prisoners with the Koran in the first place as all that harsh?

Written by martinipundit

June 22, 2005 at 3:56 pm

Posted in GWOT

Enemies and Other Abstractions

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Rick Moran has an insightful piece over at the American Thinker today.

The remarks of Senator Durbin and other Democrats comparing the United States to Nazi Germany take on a whole new meaning when placed in this context. Since war needs an enemy, the left has decided that our foe should not be the murderous beheaders in Iraq or the piteous killers of innocents in al Quadea. They’ve decided that the enemy is us — our government, our military, and their fellow citizens who are opposing them.

Also, by agitating for trials in American courts for the terrorists being held in Guantanamo and elsewhere, granting them equal rights under the 5th Amendment and giving them all the Constitutional protection that an American citizen would receive, the left furthers its efforts to destroy any rationale for military action. After all, do you go to war against wife beaters or muggers? The very thought of keeping these dangerous men locked up for the rest of their lives draws howls of rage and more Nazi similes.

How about it, those of you on the Left? Any enemies out there who aren’t Americans?

A must read.

Written by martinipundit

June 22, 2005 at 3:50 pm

Obstructing Bolton

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The Democrats in the Senate have continued their pattern of obstruction by filibustering the Bolton nomination a second time. Fifty-one Republicans and three Democrats voted for cloture while thirty-seven Democrats and lone Republican weeper George Voinovich of Ohio opposed. Eight senators were basically MIA.

Now ol’ Joe Biden, the plagiarizer from the 92 election, has announced he’ll be running for the big chair (again) in 2008 if he thinks he can win. The man has grit you know. But before he can do that he needs some more documents on the Bolton nomination from the Administration. Because, you know, he’s not sure. About what? How he’s going to vote? If Neil Kinnock will be available to write more speeches for him? Who does Biden think he’s fooling?

Joe Biden has already registered his vote on Bolton – nay – in committee. He’ll vote against cloture on the filibuster, and he’ll vote nay on the floor. There isn’t the slightest doubt on where Joe Biden stands on the Bolton nomination – he is unequivocally opposed. So he says he needs more information, and this has now become a matter of principle.

Piffle.

There is no principle at stake here – this is a fishing expedition. The request for additional information only came after it was clear that the nomination would get out of the committee. It’s a tactic to stall and obstruct. Just like the filibuster itself. And should the White House send the info, what then? Will Joe pronounce himself satisfied and then graciously end the filibuster? Not very likely. Either he or another obstructionist will decide that more data is needed, or that something in the data received is so ‘disturbing’ that Voinovich will weep and the nomination cannot possibly be permitted to proceed.

Cynical? Not at all. Just an understanding of how the Democrats continue to rule the senate from their minority position, and how the will of the people means nothing to them. The only thing that matters is their own power and their hatred of GWB. And so long as the Republicans in the senate allow this charade, it will go on. Frankly, it’s time for Frist to step aside and let someone actually lead in the senate.

Meanwhile, a word about the filibuster. Supposedly a tool to protect the interests of the minority, the filibuster has a fairly icky history. It’s been used to support lynching, oppose civil rights, as a parliamentary parlor trick for news coverage, and as a tool to block judges called “extreme” but who have now been confirmed with significant support of those previously filibustering.

The word filibuster does not appear in the Constitution. It does not have the dignity of statute. It is a rule, adopted by a body, as part of its internal workings. It can be discarded just as easily. For those who might be tempted to talk about the rights of the minority in the senate, I say the tyranny of the minority is every bit as repugnant as the tyranny of the majority. And lynching. And civil rights. The filibuster ought to go as well.

Written by martinipundit

June 21, 2005 at 10:05 am

Steyn Whacks Durbin with the Cluebat

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Mark Steyn says it best for those who simply don’t get it:

The senator from Illinois’ comparisons are as tired as they’re grotesque. They add nothing useful to the debate. But around the planet, folks naturally figure that, if only 100 people out of nearly 300 million get to be senators, the position must be a big deal. Hence, headlines in the Arab world like “U.S. Senator Stands By Nazi Remark.” That’s al-Jazeera, where the senator from al-Inois is now a big hero — for slandering his own country, for confirming the lurid propaganda of his country’s enemies. Yes, folks, American soldiers are Nazis and American prison camps are gulags: don’t take our word for it, Senator Bigshot says so.

This isn’t a Republican vs Democrat thing; it’s about senior Democrats who are so over-invested in their hatred of a passing administration that they’ve signed on to the nuttiest slurs of the lunatic fringe. It would be heartening to think that Durbin will himself now be subjected to some serious torture. Not real torture, of course; I don’t mean using Pol Pot techniques and playing the Celine Dion Christmas album really loud to him. But he should at least be made a little uncomfortable over what he’s done — in a time of war, make an inflammatory libel against his country’s military that has no value whatsoever except to America’s enemies. Shame on him, and shame on those fellow senators and Democrats who by their refusal to condemn him endorse his slander. [emphasis mine]

And that’s really the whole problem right there. No matter how many times they dress it up, it still comes down to Bush hatred.

A must read.

And here’s a little more perspective.

Written by martinipundit

June 20, 2005 at 6:12 pm

Meanwhile, Over at Day by Day …

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… Chris Muir has been swinging his own cluebat. Start here with June 14th, and click forward. A taste:

Written by martinipundit

June 20, 2005 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Politics

Carrying Water for the Savages

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In a week that has seen Dick Durbin carry water for the savages that would gladly destroy us, it’s refreshing to have an innoculation of Victor Davis Hanson:

Free-thinking Arabs refute all the premises of Western Leftists who claim that colonialism, racism, and exploitation have created terrorists, hold back Arab development, and are the backdrops to this war.

Indeed, it is far worse than that: Our own fundamentalist Left is in lockstep with Wahhabist reductionism — in its similar instinctive distrust of Western culture. Both blame the United States and excuse culpability on the part of Islamists. The more left-wing the Westerner, the more tolerant he is of right-wing Islamic extremism; the more liberal the Arab, the more likely he is to agree with conservative Westerners about the real source of Middle Eastern pathology.

The constant? A global distrust of Western-style liberalism and preference for deductive absolutism. So burn down a mosque in Zimbabwe, murder innocent Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2002, arrest Christians in Saudi Arabia, or slaughter Africans in Dafur, and both the Western Left and the Middle East’s hard Right won’t say a word. No such violence resonates with America’s diverse critics as much as a false story of a flushed Koran — precisely because the gripe is not about the lives of real people, but the psychological hurts, angst, and warped ideology of those who in their various ways don’t like the United States.

Durbin is despicable, as is Kennedy, Byrd, and others out of government like Moore and Kos who have likened the United States to totalitarian dictatorships. They ought to hang their heads in shame – resign their seats in the Senate, a body they are manifestly unworthy to be part of – and look up the word perspective in the nearest dictionary. Meanwhile, VDH warns that the American public is beginning to buy into the caterwauling on the left, and if they lose heart, we’ll lose this war. Pretty much guarantees another 9/11 and we’ll all know who to blame when that happens.

A must read, as always.

Written by martinipundit

June 17, 2005 at 10:26 am

French Contempt for the French

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It’s the best reason of them all.

Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing gives it:

One crucial mistake was to send out the entire three-part, 448-article document to every French voter, said Mr Giscard.

Over the phone he had warned Mr Chirac already in March: “I said, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it'”.

“It is not possible for anyone to understand the full text”.

By no means must we let the peons have any say in their own government. The Ancien Regime is alive and well. But if no one can possibly understand it, isn’t that the best reason there is to reject it?

Written by martinipundit

June 16, 2005 at 9:25 am

Posted in General

Merci mais Non

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Kathryn Jean Lopez would like us to forgive the French. Apparently, their rejection of the EU constitution means they’ve rejected Chirac, de Villepin, and the other elites and so we can go back to brie from France.

You know what? Until they reject Chirac and his ilk at the polls, Wisconsin will still get my business.

Written by martinipundit

June 15, 2005 at 2:13 pm

Posted in General, GWOT, Politics

Jackson

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Oh my. It’s come to this. I’ve felt compelled to post on the Michael Jackson case.

First, a bit of disclosure – I’m not a lawyer.

That having been said, I thought the prosecution bungled this case badly. I didn’t follow it closely, but I was not uninformed. I personally believe that Michael Jackson is a child molester, although I admit I have not one shred of actual evidence to support that belief.

And that was the problem.

The prosecution apparently believed they could secure the conviction of someone in the United States based purely on appearances. Nonsense. I simply cannot believe that the DA brought this case. It was amazingly weak. The accuser and his family had no credibility. The other supposed victim could not testify to the charges at hand. None of the called employees witnessed anything. The prosecution screwed up. I believe the man to be guilty, yet had I been on that jury I would have voted to acquit him of every charge based on the ‘evidence’ presented. This is still a country where the rule of law applies.

I am struck at the reaction of the media. They can’t quite grasp it. They seem to think that this was so open and shut that Jackson should have been convicted on the basis of the accusation. How terrifying, and how enlightening. The MSM, the self-appointed guardians of our society, would convict a man based on their belief in his guilt. I can’t help but think that they’re disappointed that they don’t get to cover the MJ goes to jail story. Even here, the MSM lacks credibility.

I hope Jackson realizes the second chance he has received. I hope he mends his ways, and receives the help he obviously needs. That having been said, the MSM needs to acknowledge that its obvious thirst to cover the “Jackson goes to jail” story is despicable, and in no way serves the public, the victims, or anyone other than the journalists themselves.

Update Professor Bainbridge says:

Personally, I don’t believe anybody associated with this trial came off very well. Pretty much everybody was oozing a trail of slime wherever they went.

That strikes me as just about right.

Written by martinipundit

June 14, 2005 at 8:00 am

Posted in Celebrinanity

Democrats on Cheney

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In reading about the latest from Howard Dean (whose remarks continue to sound downright bigoted) I noted that the Vice President apparently said something about only Dean’s mother liking him which has bolstered the Deaniacs. In visiting a partisan Democrat blog, I came across a wonderful range of comments:

Cheney needs to go back to his undisclosed location and stay there for the next 3 years.

He’s set the bar to a new low for vice-presidential behavior.

Clever this one was not, and even a bit lacking in historical perspective.

Funny how Cheney would stoop so low to evoke Dean’s mother in his put down of our chairman but had a hissy fit when Kerry brought up his lesbo daughter during the debates last year. The Republican hypocrisy is unbelievable. Dean, you better give them pure hell!

Loved the sexual preference slur from this person outraged by hypocrisy.

GW Bush and Dick Cheney both have to go before they do any more damage to this country.

Some people just can’t stand democracy.

With regard to Cheney, one must “consider the source”. Criticism coming from a self-serving, untrustworthy, lying facist that is representative of duopoly is a good thing, if you are a Leftie, because you know you have him squirming from the pressure of his own actions coming home like chickens to roost on the shoulders of the Right-Wing Extremists he represents and spread their excrement back on the Right, as roosting chickens have a tendency to do.

In this regard, Poe’s, “Raven” becomes a Right-Wing chicken coming home to roost and spreading Right-Wing excrement from whence it came, only this and “nothing more” and to be leaving “never more.”

This one has bird issues, but at least he managed to use a polysyllabic instead of the more expected mono. Or maybe the blog has a word censor …

Amazing how timid the Democrats still are after they have lost the presidency, the senate, the house – they STILL DON’T GET IT. Go Howard, keep telling them like it is. We don’t want to continue to be the party of the beaten!

Well, someone doesn’t get it, that’s for sure. And lastly, one who gets right to the point:

Cheney = Thug.

So where did these comments come from? The DU? Daily Kos? Some other left-wing blog? Nope. They came from the Democratic National Committee. Sad.

Written by martinipundit

June 13, 2005 at 11:35 am

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