Saturday, September 30, 2006

These people can't be trusted with our national security

This has got to be the funniest exchange ever:

Senator Conrad Burns (R-Montana): "He wants to weaken the Patriot Act. He wants to take the tools away from the people that work for us, or our protection, every day. He wants to weaken that. I do not want that to happen in this war on terror."

Democratic Nominee Jon Tester: "Let me be clear. I don't want to weaken the Patriot Act. I want to repeal it."

How 9-10! Can we allow these people to get control of Congress? They don't get it and it's not safe to let them be in power. This man shouldn't be sent to Congress and shame on Montana if they send him there.

Sticks and Stones....

I wanted to respond to Michele's post (scroll down) with some encouraging words. While I agree with her that there will be dire consequences if we "cut and run", I also refuse to lose heart.

First of all, I acknowledge that the amount of vicious slander coming George Bush's way these days is overwhelming and discouraging. And it's not going to get any better as we get closer to the mid-term elections, but I am very encouraged to know that it is not having the effect on Bush that his critics are looking for. There is no hand-wringing in the White House.

Michael Medved
recently had the privilege of being invited, along with other members of the conservative media, to the White House for a meeting with Bush.

The whole piece is excellent so you should read it in it's entirety, but here is an excerpt of his reflections on our President:

He made the important point that if he abandoned his well-known commitments on this or other domestic issues, the nation's enemies (and the rest of the world) would take away the belief that the President could be bullied, prodded, overwhelmed and initimidated -- harming the war effort for which young Americans risk their lives. He deeply believes in the importance of resolution, determination, and consistency in world affairs-- and emphasized several times that he refuses to govern according to trends, polls, or public opinion.

There's nothing grim about this commitment to remain unbending and unafraid in pursuit of his purposes. This President doesn't grit his teeth, or feel beleaguered or forlorn over low opinion ratings, or the angry demonstrators who wait outside the White House fence every day. When I visited the executive mansion, one protestor dressed as the grim reapear, in a black robe with a skeleton mask and scythe, carrying a sign thanking President Bush for the help. Others deployed larger-than-life puppets of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, dressed in striped prison suits, with manacles on their legs. I looked for some angry demonstators carrying signs equating the President to Hitler; they weren't there this trip, but I've seen them before, and so has Mr. Bush. In view of the poisonous nature of the opposition to his leadership, one might expect the President to sink into a self-pitying, paranoid funk, like so many of his predecessors (Wilson, Hoover, Lyndon Johnson, Nixon, Carter) who faced a hostile public during the last years or their terms.

This President, however, feels in no way cowed or discouraged or overwhemed, and that's the most encouraging lesson I took away from my hour-and-a-half in the Oval Office. He looks and sounds energized, and said several times how much he enjoys the Presidency, likes making decisions, and remembers what a privilege and an honor it is to be where he is. He even indicated a determination to go back to an effort to save Social Security after the election --- despite the crushing opposition the last time he tried to perform this public service. The President clearly loves his job and relishes the opportunities it affords him to change the country. He doesn't feel sorry for himself, and with his savvy resolution to make the most of the two years remaining to him after the mid-term elections, he doesn't want anybody else's pity.

Of course, that brightly lit Oval Office is hugely impressive but so, it must be said, is the impassioned individual who occupies it. If some of George Bush's most fervent detractors had been able to sit where I sat on Friday afternoon, they might not have bought the President's arguments, or his defense of his positions, but they couldn't dismiss the man's intellect, energy or information base ever again.
This encourages me. George Bush's resolve will not be persuaded by public opinion. If he is not discouraged, we shouldn't be either.

Here's Bush's answer to the NIE leakers:

Recently, parts of a classified document called the National Intelligence Estimate was leaked to the press. As I said yesterday in Alabama, it's an indication that we're getting close to an election. (Laughter.) The NIE is a document that analyzes the threat we face from terrorists and extremists -- and its unauthorized disclosure has set off a heated debate here in the United States, particularly in Washington.

Some have selectively quoted from this document to make the case that by fighting the terrorists, by fighting them in Iraq we are making our people less secure here at home. This argument buys into the enemy's propaganda that the terrorists attack us because we're provoking them. I want to remind the American citizens that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001. (Applause.)

And this argument was powerfully answered this week by Prime Minister Tony Blair. Here is what he said. He said, "I believe passionately [that] we will not win until we shake ourselves free of the wretched capitulation to the propaganda of the enemy, that somehow we are the ones responsible." (Applause.) He went on to say, "This terrorism is not our fault. We didn't cause it. And It is not the consequence of foreign policy." He's right. You do not create terrorism by fighting terrorism. (Applause.) If that ever becomes the mind set of the policymakers in Washington, it means we'll go back to the old days of waiting to be attacked and then respond. Our most important duty is to protect the American people from a future attack, and the way to do so is to stay on the offense against the terrorists.
The rhetoric by the Bush haters couldn't be more wrong. That's why all they can do is attack his character.

My hope is that the American people will be smart enough understand that.

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I'm Tired of the Bush Bashing

I think I'm on overload with the Bush bashing, they are wearing me down. I don't even want to post anything because Drudge and the Washington Post are filled with stories of people bashing Bush, I'm even tired of ridiculing them for their hypocrisy (my favorite pastime :-).

I was listening to Hewitt last night and the pundits were talking about how Woodward's book is going to be bad for the election and I thought that they had been in Washington too long. It's going to do squat! Have you gone into a Barnes and Noble lately? Have you seen the amount of books bashing the president and the war in Iraq? My daughters and I laugh when we read the titles. It's just one of many. Who cares?

We are at war, our enemies mouth the criticisms of the Bushes critics, we are one election away from having this war defunded just like they did in Vietnam. This will have huge consequences. Nations like China and Russia will sense our weakness and will act against us. You don't think so? Look around you because they are getting ready. If we leave Iraq before they are ready, we will not be loved by the world, we will be the laughingstock of the world. The world doesn't hate use because we invaded Iraq, the world hates us because we are a superpower. They are waiting for us the demonstrate our weakness so they can move in for the kill.

Democrats, and I include the media in this, keep it up because you may get the thing that you want the most, a dictator.

Updated to add: So, I say I'm tired of the Bush bashing and a kind commenter leaves me a link to a cartoon bashing Bush. Chrissie, if you think that Bush doesn't care about the people that have been killed in this war, then you really don't know the man. He isn't the monster that you guys have made him out to be.

Oh, and ha ha, I'm so amused by your subtle wit, how drool to link to a colon and recital exam page. I'm thinking you're a 14-year-old boy, right? You're level of humor really gives you away.

It kind of proves my point, these people have nothing. They are so filled with hate that their target is a caricature. Why bother? No one is listening because it doesn't have a basis in reality. It's all blah, blah, blah and whaa-whaa-whaa to me.

Updated again to say: I'm in a bad mood and if you call me a name, I will delete your comment. I'm also tired of those who are ignorant, coming here and calling me names because they have no idea what they're talking about. If you doubt that China is a danger, then maybe you should expand your reading list beyond blame Bush books and Daily Kos. Maybe you will find this helpful.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

For the love of all that is good and proper in the world, shut up!!!!

International disgrace? How about the embarrassment of sitting on our butts while our citizens were held hostage in Iran, hmmmm?

Former President Carter is urging northern Nevadans to elect his son, Jack, to the Senate to help combat a Bush administration he says has brought "international disgrace" to the country.
And then there's this from the man who embraces dictators:
The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, he says he's deeply embarrassed that the American government now stands convicted around the world as one of the greatest abusers of civil rights.
Greatest abusers of civil rights????? Go here and here and here and here and see how country, after country abuses their people. I have blogged over and over again about people who are killed because they're Christians. There are countries were people are put to death for being homosexuals. People are jailed because they criticized their country. Women are put to death because they are raped!!!! That's an abuse of their civil rights!! Go out and campaign against that.

That anyone in this country would say anything like this is appalling. It reminds me of a spoiled brat who sits in a room filled with toys and says, "I don't have anything to play with." We are spoiled by our freedom and Carter is the biggest baby. Go to Iran, go to China, go to parts of Africa, go to Cuba, go to Venezuela and speak out against the dictators there and you will see abuses of civil rights, you own, up close and personal.

And do you think this guy is making a play to run for office in some upcoming election? Maybe as a write in candidate? Isn't Bush bashing the Democratic strategy this election cycle:
Al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri condemned President Bush in a video statement released Friday, calling him a failure and a liar. "Why don't you tell them how many million citizens of America and its allies you intend to kill in search of the imaginary victory and in breathless pursuit of the mirage towards which you are driving your people's sons in order increase your profits?"
The Democrats make Al-Qaida's job so much easier.

Bitter? Why, yes, how did you notice?

(Links via Drudge Report)

When Bloggers Battle

There have been shots fired between Michelle Malken and Dean Esmay over just who is our enemy. Islam? Or a small group of Muslims who really shouldn't be called Muslims. Christopher Taylor has a summary of the fight.

Christian Carnival

The Christian Carnival is up, it looks pretty big with a diverse offering. I wish I had time to read them all but I have a Bible study to write and I'm only half way done.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yeah! They finally did something!

Just when you are starting to give up hope that the Republicans would get anything done before they took yet another break, they finally did something to make our lives safer! And with a pretty good vote margin. No one can say that the Republicans gave Bush the ability to torture (well, if you are Kennedy, you could) since many Democrats supported it as well:

The Senate on Thursday endorsed President Bush's plans to prosecute and interrogate terror suspects, all but sealing congressional approval for legislation that Republicans intend to use on the campaign trail to assert their toughness on terrorism.

The 65-34 vote means the bill could reach the president's desk by week's end. The House passed nearly identical legislation on Wednesday and was expected to approve the Senate bill on Friday, sending it on to the White House.

The bill would create military commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects. It also would prohibit blatant abuses of detainees but grant the president flexibility to decide what interrogation techniques are legally permissible.
And this is a great line (I can't believe that it made it into an AP story):
"We are not conducting a law enforcement operation against a check-writing scam or trying to foil a bank heist," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "We are at war against extremists who want to kill our citizens."
It's surprising that it has to be said. You'd think that we would all get that by now. The Democrats, the Supreme Court and the McCain Rebels are so 9-10 in their thinking.

And this has to be one of the stupidest lines in the article (and that is saying something when Kennedy is quoted, as well):
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who helped draft the legislation during negotiations with the White House, said the measure would set up a system for treating detainees that the nation could be proud of. He said the goal "is to render justice to the terrorists, even though they will not render justice to us."
Render justice???? Justice will not be rendered until they pay for their crimes with their life. I want those who tortured and our journalists, our citizens and especially our soldiers to pay with their lives. And yes, it is Christian to support the death penalty (and no, I don't support torture but I do support sleep deprivation and loud Britney Spears music).

But the award for most confusing quote goes to this one:
"The habeas corpus language in this bill is as legally abusive of rights guaranteed in the Constitution as the actions at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and secret prisons that were physically abusive of detainees," said Sen. Carl Levin, the top Democrat on the Armed Services panel.
Is he saying that this bill violates their constitutional rights? He can't be saying something that stupid, right? I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and admit my ignorance to his superior understanding of the law.

(Link via Drudge Report)

Is this any way to celebrate a holy month?

The terrorists need to give us a better breakdown of their numbers because I was wondering how many of these deaths were self-inflicted:

The new leader of al-Qaida in Iraq said in an audio message posted on a Web site Thursday that more than 4,000 foreign insurgent fighters have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. It was believed to be the first major statement from insurgents in Iraq about their losses.

"The blood has been spilled in Iraq of more than 4,000 foreigners who came to fight," said the man, who identified himself as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir - also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri - the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. The voice could not be independently identified.
Oh, and as an added bonus, this brilliant military strategist said this:
"The field of jihad (holy war) can satisfy your scientific ambitions, and the large American bases (in Iraq) are good places to test your unconventional weapons, whether biological or dirty, as they call them," said the speaker.
Why in the world would they want to make the Middle East unlivable by contaminating it with nuclear fallout? And why would they want to run the risk of a slow, painful death for their fighters? Does he actually think that the fallout would be contained?

(Link via Drudge Report)

And here is more from the religion of peace:
Al-Muhajir also called on jihadists to take foreigners hostage during Ramadan so they can be used as bargaining tools to win the release of Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel Rahman, who is jailed in the United States on charges linked to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City.
Violence during their "holy" month? Why yes, here is how they celebrate it in Brussels:
Youths threw stones at passing people and cars, windows of parked cars were smashed, bus shelters were demolished, cars were set ablaze, a youth club was arsoned and a shop was looted. Two molotov cocktails were thrown into St.Peter’s hospital, one of the main hospitals of central Brussels.
(Links via Michelle Malkin)

And in Iraq:
The bodies of 40 men who been tortured were found in the capital in a span of 24 hours, police said Thursday. Bombings and shootings killed at least 21 people in and around Baghdad, including five people who died from a car-bomb explosion near a restaurant.

Thirty-four people were wounded in the bombing. Many of them had serious burns, and some were not expected to survive, police Lt. Ali Mohsen said at the Kindi Hospital.

Although the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan is under way, some Iraqis - including Christians - are not abstaining from eating meals during daytime hours.
Hey Rosie, how many stories of kidnapping and rioting do you hear about at Christmas time? How about Easter?

Updated to add: I decided to look up on the Internet how this month is supposed to be observed and found this:
Eating, drinking, sexual intercourse and smoking are not allowed between dawn (fajr), and sunset (maghrib). During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, angry and sarcastic retorts, refrain from gambling and betting and gossip. Sexual intercourse during fasting in the day is not allowed but is permissable after the fast. All obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided. Purity of both thought and action is important. The fast is an exacting act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised level of closeness to God. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm. Properly observing the fast brings on a comfortable feeling of peace and calm.
I know that this is Wikipedia and therefore suspect, but how do you observe Ramadan and kill people at the same time? How does that bring you closer to God? Where are the Muslims who respect their religion and are outraged that a time of reflection and putting aside the things of the world is being perverted? They have effectively been silenced, who would want to risk attack?

You Can't Compromise on Abortion

I'm sorry, but I don't agree that the "Christian right" are outside the mainstream on their views:
The potency of the Christian right in the Republican Party is limited, former senator John C. Danforth of Missouri is telling audiences this month. A lifelong Republican moderate disturbed by his party's direction, he contends that the political center has a future.
The GOP leadership habitually strives to please its base at the expense of meaningful compromise, he maintains, proving to be neither humble Christians nor effective politicians. His reasoning holds that social conservatives cannot prevail because a majority of Americans do not share their views or appreciate their style.
Danforth is an ordained Episcopal priest and onetime Bush administration ambassador to the United Nations. He is probably best known for ushering Clarence Thomas through the grueling nomination process to become a Supreme Court justice. Danforth served in the Senate when Republicans were outnumbered and outmaneuvered by Democrats, a point noted dismissively by opponents who dispute his argument.

"The problem with many conservative Christians is that they claim that God's truth is knowable, that they know it, and that they are able to reduce it to legislative form," Danforth writes. "The popular question, 'What would Jesus do?' can be difficult enough to contemplate with respect to everyday interpersonal relations. It is mind boggling when applied to the complex world of politics."

Although an opponent of abortion, Danforth has become an activist for a Missouri ballot initiative that would explicitly legalize embryonic stem cell research, an issue adopted increasingly by Democrats and some Republicans to show their differences with the Christian right.

He also favors government recognition of "committed same-sex partnerships." He believes the proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage amounts to gay-bashing.

Read the rest here.

In every state in which it's voted on, including Oregon and California, gay marriage has been turned down by the voters. It appears that the public is rejecting this position, so I can 't see how it's mainstream. Moderates are just like those on the right and the left, they think the nation is behind their view. But let's just look at what the people do when they are given the vote. Let's overturn Roe v. Wade and let the people decide what they want in their state. That will be the best thing for this country, letting each state decide if they want it and then regulate it if they do.

And let's just end this talk of a middle ground in abortion. There is no compromise position, it's either you are for the killing of babies or you're not. Christians who care about this issue won't be satisfied until it's illegal to kill the baby in the womb and the left won't be happy with any restrictions. There is no way to bring these two positions together.

And btw, I just love these former politicians who used the "Christian right" when they were seeking votes and support and then criticize them when they are no longer useful.

And also, it's pretty clear where the Creator of life would stand on abortion, don't even go there!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

National Vocabulary Championship™

I was sent the following press release (yes, I get press releases just like I'm some kind of newspaper :-) and wanted to make sure I posted it before I forgot (which is what usually happens with these press releases). I hope that those with teenagers will take the time to check it out. I'm making Sarah do it Hey, $40,000 is well worth the effort!

SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPT. 27, 2006 - In an effort to emphasize the importance of language arts skills and encourage high school students to better prepare for their futures, GSN, the leading interactive television game network, today announced the first-ever National Vocabulary Championship (NVC). The announcement was made today by Dena Kaplan, Senior Vice President of Marketing, GSN, who conceptualized the cause program and public service campaign, and will oversee the championship and televised finale.

The NVC joins a legacy of legendary education-related competitions - from "“It's Academic" and "Quiz Bowl"” to the National Spelling and Geography Bees. Produced by the entertainment network known for original and classic game shows and its educational partner The Princeton Review, the NVC will set the standard for promoting academics in a fun, playful way.

The NVC will contemporize the model set by the traditional competitions by providing students with "real world" tools necessary to comprehend word meanings and help them build an enhanced vocabulary that will assist them in their next stages of life, whether that be college or professional careers.

"Students, teachers, parents, guardians and educators will each play an integral role in the success of this initiative. We created the NVC in the hopes that it will become a cultural phenomenon and get people from all over the country excited about the power of a good vocabulary, and understand that a great vocabulary is the key to their opportunities in life," said Kaplan.

Eligible high school students in the 50 states and the District of Columbia are invited to enter the first round in one of two ways -– by taking an online national qualifying exam or if the student attends a participating school, by taking an in-school qualifying exam to compete for an opportunity to advance to one of eight live citywide competitions. Forty-two top scorers from the national qualifying competition and eight winners from the citywide competitions will receive a trip to New York City to participate in the nationally televised National Vocabulary Championship finale in February 2007. The ultimate winner will receive $40,000 deposited in a higher education “"529"” savings plan. In total, GSN will award over $100,000 to top-performing students and their schools this year through the program.

"GSN is committed to helping high school educators across the country raise awareness of the importance of language arts in the classroom and is investing in America's future by providing money for college to winning students as well as making learning words fun and relevant in the game of life," added Kaplan.

According to the National Center for Educational Progress, since the early 1990s, national reading scores for 17-year-olds have dropped steadily and consistently across all demographics, with a sharp decline occurring from 1999-2004. Furthermore, the National Commission on Writing for America's Families, Schools, and Colleges reports that more than 50 percent of college freshman cannot write papers without language errors, analyze arguments, or synthesize information.

"The NEA is proud to support GSN and the NVC in its quest to help all children improve their vocabulary skills," said National Education Association President Reg Weaver. "NEA members on the front lines truly understand the benefits of engaging students in an imaginative, fun way."

The Princeton Review, a leading provider of college preparation and educational services, will provide study materials for students, including sample tests, words of the day, NVC-related podcasts of study words and other preparation materials. These materials are available free online at

"Having taught vocabulary to millions of students through our courses, tutoring, books and podcasts, we're excited to be part of the NVC," said John Katzman, CEO of The Princeton Review, "“Normally, I eschew sesquipedalian verbiage, but we'll make an exception."”

"Everyone is a winner with this program. Students will learn new word meanings, teachers will be pleased that students are studying, and parents benefit by having their children receive free study materials from The Princeton Review,"” emphasized Kaplan.


Students who wish to participate in the national qualifying competition can register for the NVC online at and choose from one of ten different times from October 27th through November 5th to take the qualifying exam. Students who attend participating schools in Boston, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, St. Louis and Palm Beach County will have the opportunity to work with in-school "“Vocabulary Coaches"” in preparation for an in-school qualifying exam, from which approximately 100 students per city will advance to the live competition to be held in those cities.


For Official Rules and more information about the National Vocabulary Championship and the “"Win With Words"” Campaign, visit .

Online National Qualifying Exam Dates
The dates and times that students can take the online national qualifying exams are as follows:
Friday, October 27th -– 10:00 pm EST/7:00 pm PST
Saturday, October 28th - 12:00 pm EST/9:00 am PST
Sunday, October 29th - 10:00 pm EST/7:00 pm PST
Monday, October 30th - 11:00 pm EST/8:00 pm PST
Tuesday, October 31st -– 11:30 pm EST/8:30 pm PST
Wednesday, November 1st - 7:00 pm EST/4:00 pm PST
Thursday, November 2nd - – 8:00 pm EST/5:00 pm PST
Friday, November 3rd - 10:00 pm EST/7:00 pm PST
Saturday, November 4th -– 5:00 pm EST/ 2:00 pm PST
Sunday, November 5th - 9:00 pm EST/6:00 pm PST

Citywide Competition Dates
Dates for the citywide competitions are as follows (locations to be announced):
Pittsburgh - Monday, October 30
St. Louis - Thursday, November 2
Boston -– Monday, November 13
Philadelphia - Thursday, November 16
Detroit - Monday, November 20
Palm Beach - Monday, November 29
Sacramento -– Tuesday, December 5
New York - Thursday, December 13

Update on the Veggie Tales on NBC

I had mentioned before that it was being reported that references to God had been removed from the broadcast of the Veggie Tales program but when I watched it there were references to God and the Bible. Well, FzxGkJssFrk has discovered what happened, it turns out that they cut references to God that "advocate" Christianity. Go read his post to see what that means.

What does NBC think they are, the government? Why in the world would they care if the show advocates Christianity?

The NIE Document and the MSM

When I first heard the news about the NIE leak, I thought, "Who would believe the NYT?" They could say that someone leaked the information, but how could we trust them, they are known liars (seems to be a trend this week). And I couldn't believe that the CIA was that stupid. How could they know if we are safer now than if we hadn't gone to war with Iraq? I suspect that it would be safe to conclude that Saddam would have tried to insert himself into the war. He probably would have sent terrorists into Afghanistan and instead of Iraq bringing in more terrorists they would have gone to Afghanistan instead. And then everyone would be crying about how we are losing the war in Afghanistan and why don't we do something about Saddam. I'm not the only one who thinks this:

KARZAI: Ma'am, before I go to the remarks by my brother, President Musharraf, terrorism was hurting us way before Iraq or September 11. The president mentioned some examples of it.

These extremist forces were killing people in Afghanistan and around for years, closing schools, burning mosques, killing children, uprooting vineyards with vine trees, grapes hanging on them, forcing populations to poverty and misery.

They came to America on September 11, but they were attacking you before September 11 in other parts of the world.

KARZAI: We are a witness in Afghanistan as to what they are and how they can hurt. You are a witness in New York.

Do you forget people jumping off the 80th floor or 70th floor when the planes hit them? Can you imagine what it will be for a man or a woman to jump off that high?

Who did that? And where are they now? And how do we fight them, how do we get rid of them, other than going after them? Should we wait for them to come and kill us again?

That's why we need more action around the world, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, to get them defeated. Extremism, their allies, terrorists and the likes of them.

On the remarks of my brother, President Musharraf, Afghanistan is a country that is emerging out of so many years of war and destruction and occupation by terrorism and misery that they brought to us.

KARZAI: We lost almost two generations to the lack of education. And those who were educated before that are now older.

We know our problems. We have difficulties. But Afghanistan also knows where the problem is, in extremism, in madrassas preaching hatred, places by the name of madrassas preaching hatred. That's what we should do together, to stop.

The United States, as an ally, is helping both countries. And I think it is very important that we have more dedication and more intense work, with sincerity, all of us, to get rid of the problems that we have around the world.

As we can see President Karzai get's it, why can't our press understand it? And speaking of our press, this was so funny:

QUESTION: Why is that declassification not a political act?

BUSH: Because I want you to read the document so you don't speculate about what it says.

You asked me a question based upon what you thought was in the document -- or at least somebody told you was in the document. And so I think you'll be able to ask a more profound question when you get to look at it yourself...


... as opposed to relying upon gossip and somebody, you know, who may or may not have seen the document trying to classify the war in Iraq one way or the other.

It's a -- just I guess it's just Washington -- isn't it? -- where, you know, we, kind of -- there's no such thing as classification anymore, hardly.

And what's really amazing is that the document says the complete opposite of what the NYT said was in it:
We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.

The Iraq conflict has become the “cause celebre” for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.

It's very telling how the MSM jumped on this and didn't exercise caution, they allowed their worldview to cloud their judgment. And here is a great example of this, Hugh Hewitt had Newsweek's Jonathan Alter on his show the other night and he had this to say about the leak (he was talking about the Clinton interview and brought up the document to strengthen his argument):

JA: Well, you know, I agree. I think that's damning, but I think it's also extremely damning what Clinton said, which is that we have seven times as many troops in Iraq as we do in Afghanistan. And you know, it's now five years, Hugh, and we don't have the guy. And so it seems to me kind of off the point for conservatives in this country to go on this tear about Clinton. It's sort of a distraction from the main point, which is that your guy hasn't gotten him.

HH: Oh, our guy has smashed up al Qaeda, though, and our guy is doing everything he can...

JA: I don't know. We just have fifteen intelligence agencies in a national intelligence estimate which is our most, our most accurate, most generally accepted intelligence document that we have in this country. And the NIE that came out over the weekend, that nobody has denied, says that terrorism has gotten worse as a result...

HH: Have you read the document, Jonathan?

JA: What?

HH: Have you read the document?

JA: Come on, Hugh.

HH: Of course you haven't.

JA: Nobody...

HH: I don't believe the New York Times.

JA: Nobody in government is disputing it, Hugh.

HH: Oh, they are, too. The White House is disputing it, John Cornyn did on this program last hour.

JA: Yeah, they are now. They're trying to get...because they realize that politically, they have a problem. Nobody disputed it.

HH: It's just because it's more...okay. That brings us to the media. The reason...

JA: Why would you do this? You've got to be intellectually honest about this, Hugh.

HH: Let me read you Thomas Edsall and me from last week.

JA: You know that if the shoe's on the other foot, you'd be all over this NIE nightmare.

HH: No, I wouldn't. A) if the shoe was on the other foot, you wouldn't find a responsible journalist in my side of the political spectrum who would release national security secrets, or at least partially quote axe grinding operatives who've been embarrassed too many times.

This reporter is a historian as well. He admits later in the interview that the MSM is largely liberal and in this interview he clearly demonstrates this bias. This is why I don't read the MSM news coverage without thinking, "Is this the truth or your interpretation of the truth." There is no such think as objective reporting, our worldview always gets in the way.

And I agree with Michelle Malken that the CIA shows a lack of understanding of why the terrorists are fighting:
Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq "jihad;" (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims--all of which jihadists exploit.
It would be nice if our bureaucrats got it. This war didn't start in this century or the previous century but many, many centuries ago. We better get people in these agencies that understand that because it's crucial for us to understand our enemy.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Musharraf, Karzai and Bush

Boy, I hope the dinner these three are having on Thursday proves to be fruitful. It's not often that I wish to be an insect, but I would love to be a fly on the wall to hear what it said.

I must admit, I have wondered why it is such a political conundrum regarding the Afghan, Pakistani border. I mean if they know and we know that Osama is hiding in a crack between the two countries why can't we just get in there and blow him away? Maybe I am just showing my naievte,but can't it be that simple?

Who exactly are these tribal leaders who are harboring terrorists (Taliban, more specifically)and causing us, the Afghani's and Pakistani's to sit on our hands? Why isn't there better cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan to stop the terrorism?

Karzai directed some strong words towards Musharraf regarding this very issue yesterday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars:

...that there will be no peace in the region until nations stopped using religious extremism as a means of promoting policy.
"For all of us in the world to be safer, we must remove the need for groups, organizations or state entities -- and here I am beginning to be very careful in my remarks -- of reliance on religious radicalism as instruments of policy," he said.
"The increased attacks on Afghanistan and the cross-border activities; the loss of U.S., Canadian soldiers; the burning of mosques and attacks on children ... is the continuing of reliance on radicalism as an instrument of policy," Mr. Karzai said.
Seems to me that the Taliban still has it's hooks in Afghanistan and won't let it go. The violence just keeps continuing.

yesterday in the southern city of Kandahar, where two men on a motorbike fatally shot Safia Ama Jan, a longtime women's rights advocate who had run an underground school for girls while the Taliban was in power. The Taliban had outlawed education for girls.
How horrible. But until this source of this hatred is abolished, it will just continue. Karzai points the finger to Musharraf and says:
...the terrorists afflicting his country get their start in religious schools, or madrassas, in Pakistan.
"Young, poor, unaware, uneducated children from the poorest of families are taken and preached hatred against me, against you, against any other person" in these schools, said Mr. Karzai, who urged Gen. Musharraf to shut down the madrassas and imprison those who teach there.
"Military action in Afghanistan alone is not going to free us of terrorism. Going to the source of terrorism -- where they get trained, motivated, financed and deployed -- is necessary now," he said.
"They are told: 'Go kill yourself in Afghanistan. Commit suicide and kill as many internationals and Afghans as you can, and the instant you are dead you will be in heaven.' To a boy of 7, keep preaching that until he is 14, and you will have a suicide bomber," Mr. Karzai said.

Wise words. I hope these men will reach an agreement for the greater good.

I'll be praying for Bush, this will be a very important to his presidency and the safety of our world.
Read the rest of what Karzai said here.

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Clarke admits that there was no plan

Sounds like there wasn't a plan to me:

Finally, Richard Clarke himself debunked the story in a background briefing with reporters. He said he presented two things to the incoming Bush administration: "One, what the existing strategy had been. And two, a series of issues - like aiding the Northern Alliance, changing Pakistan policy, changing Uzbek policy - that they had been unable to come to any new conclusions from '98 on."

A reporter asked: "Were all of those issues part of an alleged plan that was late December and the Clinton team decided not to pursue because it was too close to -"
"There was never a plan, Andrea," Clarke answered. "What there was was these two things: One, a description of the existing strategy, which included a description of the threat. And two, those things which had been looked at over the course of two years, and which were still on the table."

"So there was nothing that developed, no documents or no new plan of any sort?"

"“There was no new plan."

"No new strategy? I mean, I mean, I don't want to get into a semantics -"

"Plan, strategy - there was no, nothing new."

"Had those issues evolved at all from October of '98 until December of 2000?"

"Had they evolved? Not appreciably."
And then there's this by someone who should know:
At the National Press Club today, former Secretary of State Madelaine Albright was asked: "Secretary Rice alleges that you did not leave a comprehensive plan behind to deal with the events in later transpired Afghanistan, Pakistan facing al Qaeda. What did you leave for your successors in the Bush administration?"

Her response: "Well, what we left was a sense that fighting terrorism was very important and ask Secretary Rice how much attention they paid to terrorism in the first 8 months, ask them how many meetings they had about terrorism, ask them what they did with Dick Clark. We made very clear, (Clinton National Security Adviser) Sandy Berger and I, to both brief our successors about how much time we spent on terrorism and how it occupied many ideas on things that we had to do how many terrorist attacks we had foiled, and frankly they were both surprised that it was going to take that much time. So ask them how they spent their time when they got into office."
Leaving them a "sense" does not sound like a plan to me. So, on the one hand Clinton, a known liar is saying there was a plan and on the other hand Clarke and Rice are saying that there wasn't. Who do we believe? Hmmmm, decisions, decisions. I guess since Clinton himself said to trust Clark, I think I will :-)

And btw, how many terrorists attempts did they foil??? I haven't heard of one (and don't even try to say the Millennium bomber since that plot was foiled because of a border guard who thought Ressam was acting suspicious).

Rice Calls Clinton a Liar

She's not the only one calling him that! And I'm not sure this is the best defense:

"What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years," Rice added.
Is she trying to say that they didn't do anything? Being "as aggressive" as Clinton isn't saying too much.

Also, she stated that Clinton lied about leaving an anti-terror strategy:
The secretary of state also sharply disputed Clinton claim that he "left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy" for the incoming Bush team during the presidential transition in 2001.

"We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda," Rice responded during the hourlong session.
And she defended the administration against the charge that they demoted Richard Clark:
She also said Clinton claims that Richard Clarke - the White House anti-terror guru hyped by Clinton as the country's "best guy" - had been demoted by Bush were bogus.

"Richard Clarke was the counterterrorism czar when 9/11 happened. And he left when he did not become deputy director of homeland security, some several months later," she said.

Rice noted that the world changed after 9/11.

"I would make the divide Sept. 11, 2001, when the attack on this country mobilized us to fight the war on terror in a very different way," Rice said.
Read the rest of the article here. I'm glad that the administration is defending themselves against Clintons lies. They need to make sure he doesn't rewrite history and make himself out as this great anti-terrorism president. Clinton is responsible for 9-11, he could have killed bin Laden and didn't. Period, end of discussion. He, himself has said so.

Yes, we can call them Islamic Fascists

At least Victor Davis Hanson thinks so:

Make no apologies for the use of “Islamic fascism.” It is the perfect nomenclature for the agenda of radical Islam, for a variety of historical and scholarly reasons. That such usage also causes extreme embarrassment to both the Islamists themselves and their leftist “anti-fascist” appeasers in the West is just too bad.

First, the general idea of “fascism” — the creation of a centralized authoritarian state to enforce blanket obedience to a reactionary, all-encompassing ideology — fits well the aims of contemporary Islamism that openly demands implementation of sharia law and the return to a Pan-Islamic and theocratic caliphate.

In addition, Islamists, as is true of all fascists, privilege their own particular creed of true believers by harkening back to a lost, pristine past, in which the devout were once uncorrupted by modernism.

True, bin Laden’s mythical Volk doesn’t bath in the clear icy waters of the Rhine untouched by the filth of the Tiber; but rather they ride horses and slice the wind with their scimitars in service of a soon to be reborn majestic world of caliphs and mullahs. Osama bin Laden sashaying in his flowing robes is not all that different from the obese Herman Goering in reindeer horns plodding around his Karinhall castle with suspenders and alpine shorts.
(Link via little green football)

Stunning Admission from Clinton

Sometimes I post stuff here for later reference and this is one of those times. It's amazing to me that Clinton stated that the 9-11 Commission report was a political document:

Even the 9/11 Commission didn't do that. Now, the 9/11 Commission was a political document, too. All I'm asking is, anybody who wants to say I didn't do enough, you read Richard Clarke's book.
It was but I'm surprised he would admit it.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I got you a toy! Have fun

More Games at | Cool Generators

(Link via The Bailey's Blog)

More on the Clinton Interview

I heard this sound bite as I was driving to school this morning and I laughed out loud, it stuck me as typical of Clinton:

OK, now let's look at all the criticisms: Black Hawk down, Somalia. There is not a living soul in the world who thought that Usama bin Laden had anything to do with Black Hawk down or was paying any attention to it or even knew Al Qaeda was a growing concern in October of '93.
That has to be the worst defense ever! Because no one knew about bin Laden, our failure in Somalia wasn't your fault? Because we didn't know that bin Laden would be encouraged by our failure, that excuses your lack of engagement? What is he saying? If he knew that bin Laden was involved, he would have made sure we were successful? That we would have sent in more troops to engage the enemy? If we had, we would have been taking on al Qaeda. It is clear that if more troops had been sent in, we would have been able to take on and win this fight. Clinton's failure in this engagement lead to bin Laden's belief that he could take us on and win:
In December 1992, bin Laden found the battle he'd been waiting for. The United States was leading a UN-sanctioned rescue mission into Somalia. In the midst of a famine, the country's government had completely broken down, and warring tribes-largely Muslim--had cut off relief efforts by humanitarian groups. Somalians were starving to death in cities and villages, and the U. S., which had moved quickly to rescue oil-rich Kuwait, had come under mounting criticism for doing nothing.

When the Marines landed in the last days of 1992, bin Laden sent in his own soldiers, armed with AK-47's and rocket launchers. Soon, using the techniques they had perfected against the Russians, they were shooting down American helicopters. The gruesome pictures of the body of a young army ranger being dragged naked through the streets by cheering crowds flashed around the world. The yearlong American rescue mission for starving Somalians went from humanitarian effort to quagmire in just three weeks. Another superpower humiliated. Another bin Laden victory.

"After leaving Afghanistan, the Muslim fighters headed for Somalia and prepared for a long battle, thinking that the Americans were like the Russians," bin Laden said. "The youth were surprised at the low morale of the American soldiers and realized more than before that the American soldier was a paper tiger and after a few blows ran in defeat. And America forgot all the hoopla and media propaganda ... about being the world leader and the leader of the New World Order, and after a few blows they forgot about this title and left, dragging their corpses and their shameful defeat."


During the two days I had waited at the camp for bin Laden, some of his fighters sat on the floor of our hut and told war stories. One soldier, with a big grin, told of slitting the throats of three American soldiers in Somalia.

When I asked bin Laden about this, he said, "When this took place, I was in the Sudan, but this great defeat pleased me very much, the way it pleases all Muslims."

The Somalia operation, in some ways, made bin Laden. During the Afghan war, the CIA had been very aware of him (although the agency now insists it never "controlled" him), but in Somalia, bin Laden had taken a swing at the biggest kid in the school yard and given him a black eye. The next fight, a few weeks later, would begin with a sucker punch.
Whether Clinton or anyone else knew about bin Laden doesn't matter. What matters is that Clinton's failure as Commander in Chief lead to a stronger and a more powerful enemy, who wasn't afraid to take us on. He can try to say that he didn't know, but shame on him for not knowing who are enemy was. And then, when learning that he was our enemy, did nothing and we all know, (and have heard in his own voice) that he could have ordered him killed or captured and chose not to do so.

And I know this one hurts Clinton, you could tell it was a festering wound the way that he responded. I don't think his response was planned, I think he's bitter because he really doesn't think this is a fair charge. But this is his failure and he will have to live with the consequences of his inaction.

Here are more articles refuting what Clinton said during the Wallace interview. Byron York and The American Thinker.

Updated to add: I can't believe I missed this exchange between Clinton and Wallace:

CLINTON: But it would've shown the weakness if we'd left right away, but he wasn't involved in that. That's just a bunch of bull. That was about Mohammed Adid, a Muslim warlord, murdering 22 Pakistani Muslim troops. We were all there on a humanitarian mission. We had no mission, none, to establish a certain kind of Somali government or to keep anybody out.

He was not a religious fanatic ...

WALLACE: But, Mr. President ...

CLINTON: ... there was no Al Qaeda ..
The quote in my original post from bin Laden is from John Miller's interview in 1998! Clinton has known since 1998 that bin Laden was involved in Somalia and thought we would respond and didn't. He viewed us as a paper tiger than. Clinton knew and did nothing. They laughed about killing our men and he did nothing.

And when your men are killed, it no longer is a humanitarian mission, it becomes a war. What a terrible Commander in Chief. I think this is terrible for Hillary, it only reminds us how awful these people are at military engagement.

Clinton accuses Republicans of ridiculing him for going after bin Laden

In his interview with Chris Wallace:

In the interview Clinton said that during the 1990s conservatives criticized him for "obsessing" over bin Laden and "they ridiculed me for trying" to kill bin Laden.
Jake Tapper of Political Punch disproves Clinton's remarks by quoting various conservatives who expressed their support of Clinton's actions:
After Clinton ordered the attacks in August 1998, ACCORDING TO THIS STORYin the Associated Press, "most lawmakers from both parties were quick to rally behind Clinton in a deluge of public statements and appearances yesterday, a marked contrast to the relatively sparse and chilly reception that greeted his Monday statement on the Lewinsky matter."

"I think the president did exactly the right thing," said House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said. "By doing this we're sending the signal there are no sanctuaries for terrorists." Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) called the attacks "appropriate and just," and House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) said "the American people stand united in the face of terrorism."
Even the conservative press was supportive:
The conservative National ReviewWROTE"Whatever one thinks of Bill Clinton, surely Sandy Berger and Bill Cohen would not take part in any wag-the-dog scenario. Republicans who suggest otherwise--including, to our astonishment and his embarrassment, the usually sober Sen. Dan Coats (R., Ind.)--should be ashamed of themselves. President Clinton should instead be commended for finally responding appropriately to a terrorist attack.

On "THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP, Pat Buchanan said "there was every justification for it. It was a retaliatory strike, it's a pre-emptive strike, it was decided a week ahead of time, unanimously in the Ex Com of the National Security Council. There is not a scintilla of evidence that the president timed this for political reasons, and I think the Republicans who have stood behind the president in these strikes are exactly right."
It was the MSM who questioned it.

I can't remember if Rush thought it was "wag the dog" or not. And I'm getting it confused with the time he bombed Iraq during the Lewinsky trial. Everyone was in agreement that was "wag the dog."

Clinton's problem is that he was a known liar, why would we believe anything that he said? Even the MSM didn't trust him. This is what happens to liars, he only has himself to blame (which he never would do, it's always someone else's fault).

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Being Five

Go check out this cute comic strip. It's about "a kid who blogs using voice recognition software." Isn't that right up our alley? Kids and blogging all in one strip. It's well-written and understandable (unlike some of today's comic strips) and pretty amusing. There's even cute merchandise.

Andy Rooney makes me nuts

I just watched 60 Minutes and Rooney annoyed me. He listed all the salaries of the president's assistants and the whole time I was thinking, "Well, give me a comparison, how many assistants did Clinton have?" Of course he never said, so I assume it was more.

Falwell's constituency fear Hillary more than the devil

I guess you could say that if the Democrats believe that Hillary is the devil incarnate, why shouldn't Falwell make the comparison:

The Rev. Jerry Falwell says a White House run by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton would energize his base of religious conservatives even more than if the devil were the Democratic nominee.

"I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate," Falwell told a private prayer breakfast. "Because nothing will energize my (constituency) like
Hillary Clinton."

"If Lucifer ran, he wouldn't," Falwell added, drawing a roomful of laughs and cheers.


An aide to Falwell said the remarks were off-the-cuff and not intended to demonize the Democratic senator from New York.
You compare her to the devil but you didn't intend to demonize? That makes no sense.

Personally, I hope that she is the Democratic nominee because I think she is beatable. But I don't see her making it through the Democratic primary.

(Link via Drudge Report)

Islamic Terrorist Attacks Timeline

Cathy of Sunday Morning Coffee has a great post that I've been meaning to link to and forgot. It's a timeline of the Islamic terrorist attacks. It hits you how often they've attacked and how many people have lost their lives over the years because of this fanatic brand of Islam. It also hits you how long the world has had to live with this type of violence.

This morning she has a follow up to the timeline, it's a history of the Islamic terrorist organizations. She intends it to be an on going series where she focuses on each organization. This week she looks at the history of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Carnival of the Blogging Chicks #14

The Carnival of the Blogging Chicks is up. It's short! Though my post is long. I started my Revelation Bible Study. The introduction is here and you can find the study questions for chapter one here.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bin Laden Dead? Good timing, Clinton!

A French newspaper is reporting that bin Laden died of typhoid fever last month:

Osama bin Laden is dead. At least according to Saudi intelligence sources cited by a French newspaper, which in turn claims to have obtained a document leaked to them by French counter-intelligence services.

The news of the death of al-Qaida's chief was reported in the Saturday edition of l'Est Republicain, a respected regional daily. The French paper cites a memo they claim was obtained from the French counter-espionage agency, the Direction Generale des Services Exterieurs, or the DGSE.

Bin Laden, the world's most wanted terrorist is believed to have died last August as a result of typhoid fever while he was in a remote part of Pakistan, according to the French newspaper.

The report of bin Laden's death was however not confirmed by official sources in either Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.


The Saudi intelligence report states that bin Laden's geographic isolation "rendered all medical assistance impossible. Indeed, U.S. intelligence sources have long believed bin Laden was hiding in remote parts of Pakistan, close to the border with Afghanistan, areas where sophisticated medical help would be difficult to obtain.
If this report is true, then it would be amazing that he died from a disease and not in battle. Does he get virgins if dies of a disease? And it would be telling if the leader of the organization dies of a disease, while the foot soldiers died by blowing themselves up.

And Bush and our military would still be able to claim victory since he died from lack of medical help because he had to remain in hiding.

BTW, do you think the Democrats will believe bin Laden is dead since it's the French who are reporting the news?

(Link via

And in related news, Clinton picked this time to admit he failed in capturing bin Laden and complains that Bush didn't capture him either:
Former President Bill Clinton, angrily defending his efforts to capture Osama bin Laden, accused the Bush administration of doing far less to stop the al Qaeda leader before the September 11 attacks.

In a heated interview to be aired on Sunday on "Fox News Sunday," the former Democratic president defended the steps he took after al Qaeda's attack on the USS Cole in 2000 and faulted "right-wingers" for their criticism of his efforts to capture Osama bin Laden.


"But at least I tried. That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now," Clinton said when asked whether he had failed to fully anticipate bin Laden's danger. "They had eight months to try, they did not try. I tried. So I tried and failed."
He had years to get bin Laden and didn't; his excuses are pathetic. Bush didn't even have his full cabinet together because he was battling the Democrats and the nation was still at war with each other over chads. Imagine if he had launched a war with a nation? With a Democrat Senate that was looking for any excuse to undermine his presidency.

You can see Clinton's righteous anger here, with finger pointing, too. And for bonus fun, compare it to Clinton's press conference in which he declared he did not have sex with that woman. Same anger in his voice, same finger pointing. Hmmm, yes he is so believable :-)

(Links via Drudge Report)

This is what they do to their children

The terrorists in Afghanistan have taken their fight to little girls. How brave!

In a small, sunlit parlor last week, 20 little girls seated on rush mats sketched a flower drawn on the blackboard. In a darker interior room, 15 slightly older girls memorized passages from the Koran, reciting aloud. Upstairs was a class of teenage girls, hidden from public view.

The location of the mud-walled home school is semi-secret. Its students include five girls who once attended another home school nearby that was torched three months ago. The very existence of home-based classes is a direct challenge to anti-government insurgents who have attacked dozens of schools across Afghanistan in the past year, especially those that teach girls.


President Hamid Karzai told audiences in New York this week that about 200,000 Afghan children had been forced out of school this year by threats and physical attacks.

According to UNICEF, 106 attacks or threats against schools occurred from January to August, with incidents in 31 Afghan provinces. They included one missile attack, 11 explosions, 50 burnings and 37 threats. In the four southern provinces under serious assault by Taliban forces, UNICEF said, nearly half of the 748 schools have stopped operating.
What a religion! They shoot 73-year-old nuns in the back and lob missiles at schools to attack little girls. And what's nuts is that they are Muslim girls learning the Koran. Why wouldn't Allah want little girls to learn about him? Why would he want his warriors killing children while they are learning about him?

The terrorists don't want the little girls to learn but that doesn't stop the girls from learning. Despite the threats, the girls want to learn. I think that tells you something about what we accomplished in this nation. Terrorists may want to undermine it but these girls have tasted freedom and they want to continue to learn despite the danger, we should help them to do so:
During the 1990s, a decade of civil conflict and religious repression, education stagnated across Afghanistan. Many teachers fled the country, and many middle-class families educated their children abroad. For those who remained behind, especially in rural areas, public education became virtually inaccessible, especially for girls. In some areas, female literacy fell to less than 1 percent.

Today, most Afghans appear eager to make up for lost time. Their thirst for knowledge is strong, although public education remains controversial for girls in many rural areas, especially once they reach puberty and are barred by custom from mixing socially with boys. In northern provinces, where the Taliban threat is minimal and tribal customs tend to be more modern, many communities have welcomed foreign offers to build schools for girls.

One such community is the tiny village of Mollai in Parwan province, a lush but impoverished region of rushing streams and green, terraced fields. This summer, the U.S. Army built an eight-room elementary school for 300 girls in Mollai -- the first ever in the area. During a recent visit by a reporter to the third-grade class, every student in the room said she was the first girl in her family to attend public school.

"There are still a few parents who don't want their daughters to come, but we keep talking to them until we satisfy them," said the teacher, Mahmad Agul, 25. "We lack everything here -- paved roads, electrical power, deep wells, clinics. But this school was our highest priority."


Where public schools are either too distant or too dangerous for girls to attend, hundreds of communities have turned to private home schools, many of them sponsored by the nonprofit Swedish Committee for Afghanistan. During the Taliban era, the committee operated inconspicuous home schools in many provinces. With the revival of the Taliban threat, they are again becoming an important alternative.
Not even the boys' schools are safe:

But school officials said not even they were safe from attack now. In one village hidden among the brown, rocky hills, the only boys' school was heavily damaged by a bomb six months ago, and teachers said some students had stopped attending.

"It happened at three in the morning," said Syed Hassan, 46, a math teacher. "When we came running, the windows were all shattered and the pages of books were scattered on the ground, even our holy Korans.

Go read the rest of the article. We are so blessed with many opportunities for education, it's a shame that there are nations where people have to struggle to be educated.

Crazy Like a Fox

Those are the words of Maurice R. Greenberg who spoke with Ahmadinejad recently at the Council on Foreign Relations meeting, where Ahmadinejad spoke:

Q: Give us more insight on the man himself. Clearly you feel that he's dangerous, and that the administration's characterization of him is correct. Can you elaborate? You've dealt with many foreign leaders, given your position in the business community. Is there anything in particular that strikes you about Ahmadinejad?

MRG: Yes: How a man like this came to power. He's very clever. He responds in an oblique way: never directly to the question. He changes the subject. He goes on and on and raises issues. For example, regarding those in prison in Iran, including members of the press-he doesn't answer the question. He says, "There are 3 million people in prison in the United States. What are they in prison for?" He just throws back something that he believes is improper in our country. Not on any factual basis, it's just his method of never answering the question.

The man… I wouldn't call him nuts. He's not crazy. He's crazy like a fox.

Q: So bottom line: In your view, can we do business with him or is it impossible to do so?

MRG: I think it's almost impossible to do business with him as long as he has those views. He says: "Why should the Palestinians suffer even if there was a Holocaust? What does one have to do with the other?" I mean, they have nothing to do with each other. We don't link them together. And we discussed that. They're not linked.

He thinks the Palestinians should be permitted to return, that's never going to happen. If the Palestinians returned to Israel, they'd swamp the country and there wouldn't be an Israel. But he doesn't want an Israel.

We can't deal with him. You can't deal with this guy. I do not believe that we should let him come into possession of the capabilities to manufacture a nuclear device, or achieve it by an indirect means, such as buying it from somebody else.
I'm glad this guy is arrogant enough to meet with the press and to speak at various groups, he isn't able to hide his cunning and his nutty views. Maybe this will put fear into their hearts and they won't be opposed to military action when it's time to do something.

(Link via little green footballs)

Friday, September 22, 2006

I agree with Pataki!

Why give your profits to a nation that has so much wealth? Even our poor are better off than many around the world. Why not take care of your own:

Republican George Pataki, a potential 2008 presidential candidate, said he has had more than enough with the Venezuelan leader bad mouthing the American commander-in-chief.

"This person has no right coming to our country to criticize our president. He can take his cheap oil and do something for the poor people of Venezuela," said Pataki during an interview with Fox News.


Despite Chevez's pledge to help the poor using his nation's vast oil wealth, Venezuela still suffers from chronic poverty, crime, kidnappings, and unemployment. The latter has been rated as high as 12 percent in a nation of 25 million people.

According to a report from the United Nations, Venezuela ranks first in the world in gun deaths per capita, and reports indicate homicides in Venezuela have doubled since 1999.
BTW, he's also boycotting Citgo, which is owned by Venezuela. Everyone is talking about boycotting Citgo to punish Chavez, there's even a blogroll. I say, what took you so long? I stopped buying Citgo when I found out it was owned by Venezuela, no way was I going to buy gas from a dictator who steals private property.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

GOP Rebels?

I think it's so funny that the press is calling the McCain trio, "rebels"

The White House and rebellious Senate Republicans announced agreement Thursday on rules for the interrogation and trial of suspects in the war on terror. President Bush urged Congress to put it into law before adjourning for the midterm elections.

"I'm pleased to say that this agreement preserves the single most potent tool we have in protecting America and foiling terrorist attacks," the president said, shortly after administration officials and key lawmakers announced agreement following a week of high-profile intraparty disagreement.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, one of three GOP lawmakers who told Bush he couldn't have the legislation the way he initially asked for it, said, "The agreement that we've entered into gives the president the tools he needs to continue to fight the war on terror and bring these evil people to justice."

"There's no doubt that the integrity and letter and spirit of the Geneva Conventions have been preserved," McCain said, referring to international agreements that cover the treatment of prisoners in wartime.
Was it a good deal? The CIA director seems to think so:
The CIA director, General Michael Hayden, praised the deal reached in Congress today that, in effect, would permit CIA interrogators to use harsh techniques critics call torture[BTW, this is just nuts, why say, "critics call torture"].

"If this languages becomes law, the Congress will have given us the clarity and the support that we need," Gen. Hayden said in a message to employees late this afternoon.

CIA officials said it was impossible to proceed with the agency's harsh interrogation techniques without a law that made it clear CIA officers would not one day face prosecution.
Today's congressional deal, if signed into law, would allow the CIA to continue the six techniques and to continue to run secret prisons overseas for select terror suspects.

Gen. Hayden said the measure "allows us to continue to defend the homeland, attack Al Qa'ida and protect American and Allied lives."
It appears that the "rebels" caved. And it's no wonder, McCain saw the political writing on the wall this weekend in New Hampshire:
Senator John McCain, who is battling with the White House over the interrogation and trial of terrorism suspects, on Sunday flew to New Hampshire - and right into a blistering editorial from the conservative Manchester Union-Leader that assailed him for standing up to President Bush on the issue.
One of them, Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, said in an interview that he disagreed with Mr. McCain, and offered a forceful endorsement of Mr. Bush.

"I am foursquare behind the president on this," Mr. Romney said. "I believe that we should do everything possible to support those people at the front line who are responsible for enforcing the war on terrorism."

Mr. McCain said Sunday that he was acting out of conscience, not political calculation, to reinforce an image of independence that has been questioned in recent months as he has supported Mr. Bush on issues like the war in Iraq. Still, he said his office had been deluged with critical phone calls, and that he had picked up enough buzz from conservative radio talk stations to conclude that he might have once again rattled his support among conservatives.
What support among conservatives? If he thinks he has support, he's in for a rude awakening come presidential primary season. As much as McCain said that he didn't care if he lost the presidency over this, it appears that it was all just political doublespeak.

BTW, good going Mitt Romney, outflank him on the conservative side, that's how Bush beat him in 2000.

So Much for Dialogue

The Pope was just trying to open up the dialogue between Christians and Muslims but as we can see it backfired; big time.

People hear what they want to hear. He never condoned what he quoted in fact "the pope described [these words as]“startling brusqueness” and later recommended a “genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today.” He added: “we invite our partners” into such discourse.The pope’s call for Christian and Islamic interchange ignited days of Muslim rage. Demonstrators in London waved placards that read “Islam will conquer Rome” and “Jesus is the slave of Allah.”

They do no want dialogue, they want domination. When will our world wake up and smell the coffee?

In the meantime, we have knuckleheads like John McCain, and his cronies wringing their hands over the possible interrogation/torture (depends on how it is defined) of enemy combatants. Nevermind that we found out vital information that helped make our country and the world safer.

Just listen to this from Deroy Murdock over at National Review:

Tough questioning, such as “waterboarding” or simulated drowning, makes terrorists talk. That’s how U.S. interrogators encouraged Khalid Sheik Mohammed to detail how he masterminded al Qaeda’s September 11 attacks. He then ratted out Hambali, the man behind the October 2002 Bali bombing that killed 202, and “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla. Both are now safely in custody.

Al Qaeda honcho Abu Zubaida stayed quiet until interrogators stuck him in a cold room and blasted the corrosive music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Zubaida cried uncle and began to talk. He helped America find terrorists Ramzi bin-al-Shibh in Pakistan, Amar-al-Faruq in Indonesia, Rahim al-Nashiri in Kuwait, and Muhammad al Darbi in Yemen.

These interrogations help America connect the dots. Stopping them, as McCain and company would do, disconnects the dots. This likely will blow more Americans to smithereens.

If McCain and his pals worry about torture, they should ponder the daily agony of the loved ones of the 1,151 people who were killed on September 11 and never even recovered from Ground Zero. Assuring that Islamic fanatics never again vaporize Americans is why we must squeeze captured terrorists until they sing.

Throwing olive branches at Islamofascists is beyond futile. This is the War on Terror, not the Summer Olympics on Terror. If America won’t fight this like a war — and win — we might as well cut our losses, hand out the Korans, and start the mass conversions.
Dialogue and diplomacy; these words do not seem to be in the vocabulary of Islamofascists.

Don't sunbath unless you want to see your picture all over the Internet

I really don't like the idea of the government invading my privacy by taking pictures of me in my backyard but I think this just made it worse. It's a picture of a guy (I think it's a guy) sunbathing posted by Google Earth.

We are so ripe to be taken over for a totalitarian regime. All the tools will be in place when the Islamic overlords take over. They can make sure that the women are wearing our burkas and that we are all praying to Allah five times a day.

Totalitarian Dictators in Glass Houses Shouldn't Throw Stones

Doesn't this guy understand the supreme irony of his words:

President Hugo Chavez, the combative Venezuelan leader, denounced President Bush in a U.N. speech Wednesday as a racist, imperialist "devil" who has devoted six years in office to military aggression and the oppression of the world's poorest people.
Speaking from the lectern where Bush spoke a day earlier, Chavez said he could still smell the sulfur -- a reference to the scent of Satan. Even by U.N. standards, where the United States is frequently criticized as the world's superpower, Chavez's remarks were exceptionally inflammatory. They were also received with a warm round of applause.
"Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world," Chavez told the chamber of international diplomats. "I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyze yesterday's statement made by the president of the United States. As the spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums, to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world."

"The president of the United States came to talk to the peoples -- to the peoples of the world," Chavez said. "What would those peoples of the world tell him if they were given the floor? . . . I think I have some inkling of what the peoples of the south, the oppressed people, think. They would say, 'Yankee imperialist, go home.' "
"The world is waking up," he added. "I have the feeling, dear world dictator, that you are going to live the rest of your days as a nightmare because the rest of us are standing up, all those who are rising up against American imperialism."
Yes, let's talk about the poor people of the world. How about the poor oppressed people of Venezula and Cuba who live under dictators who are so chummy with each other. Yes, American imperialism has made their lives so much harder.

This from a man who did what the liberals fear Bush will do, he won an election and then stole the country. He took away their freedoms and imprisoned their dissidents. ItÂ’s amazing that he gets the respect that he does. If he did in this country what he did in his own, he would be castigated by the press and they would be publishing that fact with this article. Did you read anything about the oppression of his people in the article?

And then there'’s this from Chavez's press conference:
"the US empire is on the way down, and it will soon be finished for the good of all mankind."
Do you think he's forgetting this:
Chavez's government still earns handsomely from oil sales to the U.S., Venezuela's top export market, but he has crusaded against its capitalist system, selling millions of gallons (liters) of heating oil at a discount to low-income American families.
His country would take a huge financial hit if America was destroyed. And his country wouldn't be the only one; India, China and Latin America would take a huge hit as would all other economies across the globe. Their people are employed by our companies and we buy their products. And what about the nations that receive foreign add? And the nations who receive military protection, South Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, and Iraq?

Like it or not, we are a necessary evil. Like it or not this is a global economy. I hope the countries who are conspiring against us realize that the world economy can't survive without us.

And yeah, I have something to say on the other dictator as well, but I'll save if for another post.

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