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Archive for the 'Iraq' Category

July 7th 2009

The Left Uneasily Re-Confronts The Bush Doctrine

S

ix very long paragraphs into a seven-paragraph column in Slate, Christopher Hitchens finally gets around to the big question, as if it was an intellectual breakthrough of such import it needed a hefty introduction:

Which brings me to a question that I think deserves to be asked: Did the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, and the subsequent holding of competitive elections in which many rival Iraqi Shiite parties took part, have any germinal influence on the astonishing events in Iran?

Oh, you mean like the Bush Doctrine?  Show them a little Democracy and stand back? Hitchens hedges his bets, saying “one swallow does not make the summer,” and subheading the article (possibly by editors, not Hitchens), “Given the connections between Iraq and Iran, it’s not as unlikely as it sounds).

Unlikely? One swallow? Iraq has a Shi’ite majority and Iran is a Shi’ite country.  Iranians know what the condition of Iraqi Shi’ites was before the war, and they know their condition now.  They see elections that are fair and open being held just across the border, and they know of candidates now holding office in Iraq that would never be approved by the Mullahs to even run in Iran.

The Bush Doctrine meme has been remarkably thin in all the coverage, blogging, punditry and tweeting over the Iran elections, but it stands in the middle of the story like an 800-pound gorilla no one wants to write about. Bush’s war in Iraq so obviously led to the deep yearning for freedom in Iran that the leftist readers of Salon are howling in defensive, unsustainable protest:

Trace192 lays out the familiar diatribe:

Hundreds of thousands of American injured.. millions of innocent Iraqi civilians displaced or killed.. billions of taxpayer’s money wasted..

And there’s Hitch, still desperately grasping at straws in an attempt to justify it.

The loss of life in Iraq, while exponentially smaller than leftists predicted prior to the war, remains tragic and the Left refuses to let a single one of those deaths stand for something.

Candoxx has a disbelief of biblical proportions:

Well well well, not since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ has the extrication of one man and his sons from the planet resulted in so much, eh?

On planet Hitchens.

Philadelphia Steve is so sure of his worldview that he doesn’t want to be bothered by being asked to think about any opposing view. He’ll just remain 100% sure of himself about everything, despite history, despite events:

Do the Neocons ever give up their attempts to justify Bush’s bungled, incompetent, wasteful invasoin and occupation of Iraq?

No.

And they never will.

The only question is why Slate, or anyone else, continues to waste space on people who have been 100% wrong on everything.

why?

Sir Real turns logic on its head, seeing a democracy (of sorts) ruled by Shi’ites as a threat to Iraq just like that big bad Sunni Saddam was:

On the one hand, it’s self-evident that people’s experiences (with, say, a brand spankin’ new neighboring government) color their perceptions.

On the other hand, are you effing kidding me?

You could, AT BEST, argue that the Iranian people are willing to demonstrate because they no longer have to fear Saddam on the border. (The Iran-Iraq war killed 188k+ Iranian men and boys- not the kind of thing you want to re-occur by, say, destabilizing your current government). But to imply that Iraq is some sort of democracy showroom, and that the events of June ’09 are the Iranians just itchin’ to buy is deeply self-serving, especially on the part of those who cheerleading led us there in the first place.

Geopolitics as dominoes- Stupid then (RIP McNamara), Stupid now.

And of course there’s always the leftist who can’t put together a thought without profanity, like the commenter blahblahblah, who’s so jaded, so cool to it all, so above it, so blithely unbothered that he/she actually comments as if thinking in poems; obscene poems to be sure, but poems nonetheless:

Every f****** Iranian you know
believed in the lie that was Moussavi’s lie
which he enunciated at a press conference before the g**d*** returns came in
when he declared that he was the winner of the election,
when in fact every lucid fact and number
before and after the election nationwide spoke otherwise.
So why the f*** should I care about your f***** friends,
when you’ve all become just a bunch of wishful thinking lying b******.

Give me change or a revolution based on the f****** truth
and not the hopeful lies with which you peddle so dearly hateful sir.
Good f****** grief.

I’ll leave out the obscenity, since it’s just not needed: Good grief.

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June 30th 2009

Leaving Iraq

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iser minds always said that  publishing a timetable for leaving Iraq would lead to an upsurge in violence.  But what do wiser minds know? We’re just a bunch of warmongers, right? Wrong.

Today, four U.S. soldiers were killed in combat related to the withdrawal, apparently in some sort of firefight, although news is still sketchy at this time; we only know they died of “combat-related injuries.”  Their deaths are part of a rising tide of violence leading up to the much planned-for and publicized turning over of control of several Iraqi cities to Iraqi control: 250 people killed in all during June.

The American media has been mum on the surging levels of violence that have accompanied the withdrawal timeline, even though it’s following exactly the course those critical of Obama’s position on Iraq predicted.  Where are the charges of “Blood on Obama’s Hands!”  Where are the follow-up heart-wrenching personal interest stories on the families torn apart by the violence?  Nowhere. Such stories would require fair and factual reporting.

In AP’s report, linked above, there was one quote I loved reading.  It was a bit buried, so let me raise it up a bit:

President Jalal Talabani said the day could not have happened without the help of the United States, which invaded Iraq in 2003 and ousted Saddam — who was later convicted by an Iraqi court and executed in December 2006.

“While we celebrate this day, we express our thanks and gratitude to our friends in the coalition forces who faced risks and responsibilities and sustained casualties and damage while helping Iraq to get rid from the ugliest dictatorship and during the joint effort to impose security and stability,” Talabani said.

Quotes like that are, I hope, played loud and long throughout the repressed nations of the Muslim world, so they strike fear into the hearts of the likes of Ahmadinejad and al-Assad.

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June 18th 2009

Most Ridiculous Story Of The Year (4): Zombie Neocons

I

t seems like only yesterday we were looking at nominee #3 for this year’s C-SM “Most Ridiculous” award (actually, it was Tuesday), and here we are again so soon with #4 – a second nominated article from the nearly always ridiculous Gary Kamiya of Salon.

Kamiya easily checks off all the requirements for consideration for this august (if ridiculous) honor:  He is a serious writer, writing about a serious subject in all seriousness, yet he goes far beyond the sublime, settling heavily into the imbecilic.

His piece, Night of the Living Neocons, The shameless fools whose Iraq folly empowered Iran’s hard-liners are back, smearing Obama as an appeaser, is typical Kamiya: Blind to all the Left’s faults, while accusing the right of exactly those faults … oh, and being utterly unable to forgive or forget George W. Bush, who he sees as the primordial presidential ooze from which all things evil evolved.

Let’s start with a rundown of the derrogatory words he uses for neocons:  Rasputin-like, unhinged, disgraced, braying, raving, unreconstructed, lunatic, Visigothic, idiotic, ludicrous, paper-pushing pundits ensconced in comfy right-wing think tanks, supposedly “idealistic,” and cavalier.  A little later on he belittles neocons for belittling Obama.  The pot is allowed to call the kettle black, but the kettle gets no such rights in Kamiyaland.

As the piece’s title hints, Kamiya believes it’s Bush who created Iran’s hard-line regime, and that Obama is right to appease use carefully considered words, because just three words – axis of evil – are behind all that’s wrong in Iran.

That these neoconservative pundits have the gall to talk about Iran at all, let alone pose as defenders of the Iranian people, would be stunning if it were not so familiar. For it was their own policies that were largely responsible for the rise of the hard-liners in Iran. … And of those U.S. actions, none was more consequential than the very “axis of evil” statement that the neocons are now tumbling over each other to glorify.

Kamiya quotes Islamic affairs scholar Malise Ruthvin:

“The build-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq provided them with strong public support. In the local council elections of February 2003 — one month before the invasion — conservatives regained nearly all the seats they had lost in 1999 at the peak of the reformist movement. This was not a rigged poll: for unlike the parliamentary and presidential races, candidates for municipal elections are not vetted for ‘Islamic suitability.’ The right-wing victory was sealed two years later with Ahmadinejad’s election as president.”

It’s simplistic to blame the results of elections in Iran on the actions of America. Economic issues at home and tribal alliances and conflicts also matter greatly, and whatever America does or does not do is grossly distorted by the state-controlled Iranian media – which didn’t cover Obama’s Cairo speech and reported his recent milquetoast comments as if they were incendiary. Be that as it may, haven’t events borne out the fact that Iran is indeed evil? It has ruthlessly repressed its people, called for the destruction of free, Democratic Israel, tried to strip Lebanon of democracy, killed our soldiers, and thumbed its nose at the world.

Oh, and we need not mention Jimmy Carter’s contribution to the mess in Iran, or Bill Clinton’s.  We need not mention that Democratic presidents have had their visions for progress in the Middle East destroyed by Islamists just as much as Republican ones have.  Kamiya just won’t talk about that – he just is interest in the failure of Republicans.

Kamiya than attacks the Iraq war, familiar ground for him indeed:

And, of course, the entire Iraq war greatly empowered Iran by removing its greatest enemy, Saddam Hussein, and shifting power to Iran’s coreligionist Shiites.

He ignores the fact that the war also created a functioning (for better or worse) Muslim democracy next door, something the Tehraniacs have fought tooth and nail since the neocons first started working towards bringing it about. We didn’t remove Hussein and leave a vacuum; we did it and left a form of government that threatens Tehran to its core. How many of the demonstrates on the Iranian streets are there because they saw fair elections happen next door, and they want them now, too? Most of them!

At this point, Kamiya must have stopped writing and fired up a big, fat doobie because what follows appears to be some kind of drug-induced hallucination:

One of the things the neocons would like the rest of us to forget is that they were the most ardent proponents of invading the very country whose people they now piously claim to support. Back in the heady “Mission Accomplished” days, the neocon slogan was “Wimps go to Baghdad — real men go to Tehran.” Leaving aside the fact that the neocons were a bunch of paper-pushing pundits ensconced in comfy right-wing think tanks who never “went” anywhere that didn’t have room service, the point is that they have been burning to attack Iran for years — an attack that would inevitably result in the slaughter of tens or hundreds of thousands of Iranians. Yes, some of them claimed that invading Iran would be a cakewalk, that the long-suffering Iranian people would welcome Americans as liberators, and so on. (Some of them even managed to keep a straight face while saying this.) And if you believe them, there’s a bridge in Fallujah I’d like to sell you.

Have any of you ever heard any of us call for any sort of ground attack on Iran that would slaughter hundreds of thousands of Iranians? I sure haven’t, although I’ve heard plenty of calls for limited attacks on Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Have any of you heard that “Real men go to Tehran” slogan? I sure haven’t. Have any of you heard anyone idiotic to say attacking Iran would be a cakewalk? To the contrary, I’ve heard neocons explain that Iraq was selected as a target because a war with Iran would be exponentially more difficult. Look at all the straw dogs barking at the neocons!

As if you haven’t guessed by now, the next target of Kamiya’s angst is Israel:

Beneath their talk of spreading freedom and democracy, the neocons have always hated and feared Iran. There are several reasons for this, including the state of enmity between Iran and America spurred by the Khomeini revolution and the 1979 hostage crisis, but the main one is that Iran is Israel’s most dangerous enemy. Removing Iran as a threat to Israel is the main strategic goal of the neoconservatives, and that goal is far more important to them than “liberating” the Iranian people.

That’s it. Really. There’s no mention of holocaust denial or pledges to wipe Israel off the map. There’s no mention that Israel is a democracy. And there is certainly no mention of the regional destabilization a nuclear Iran would present, or the threat to America posed by Iran providing terrorists with nuclear weapons or materials for dirty bombs. It’s just that we have this curious strategic goal to protect Israel.

The most tragic and pathetic statement by Kamiya follows.

For the truth is that the neocons’ supposed “idealism” was and is in fact a fig leaf covering utter, cavalier indifference to the massive death and destruction their reckless — but so “principled” — policies caused.

He apparently has avoided any contact with information about what happened in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos after his side won and we ended all that neocon silliness about domino theories in Southeast Asia. Millions died, were tortured or forced into state-sanctioned slavery, and that’s all just hunky dory with Kamiya – just don’t ask him to consider how hundreds of thousands were executed by Hussein, but that doesn’t happen any more … well, it happens in Iran, but not Iraq.

And what of Obama’s position in all this?  Why, it’s just brilliant, of course!

The situation in Iran is a tricky moving target, but so far, Obama has played it exactly right on. He has expressed deep concern about the election and the regime’s violent response to peaceful demonstrators, but added that “it is not productive, given the history of US-Iranian relations to be seen as meddling — the U.S. president, meddling in Iranian elections.”

Since when is calling for fair elections “meddling?”  Since when is sympathizing with freedom-loving people “meddling.”  I know meddling when I see it:  Owning 60 percent of GM or canning its CEO; that’s meddling. But Kamiya is convinced in a meddle-free foreign policy:

It should be amply clear by now that America’s ability to influence events in the Middle East is severely limited. Indeed, as the Bush years showed, U.S. actions in the region tend to result in the exact opposite of their intended consequences.

He then turns around and says:

The success of the March 14 Alliance in Lebanon, a major victory for the U.S., is widely attributed to the “Obama effect.”

Which is it? Is he saying the Cairo speech led to the riots in Iran as the exact opposite of its intended consequences?  Or is he saying that Obama should speak very strongly in favor of democracy in Iran because there’s an “Obama effect” that can really make things happen?  I am so confused.  But that’s something that happens frequently when I consider the ridiculous things said by Liberals.

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March 11th 2009

Iraq Functions! Aziz, Others Convicted

S

hould George Bush have invaded Iraq? It’s a question we’ll debate forever, but ask the families of 42 Iraqi flour merchants, and you’ll probably get a yes because they remember the old Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

The 42 were accused by Hussein’s government of profiteering, which you can freely translate as “not giving Hussein what he demands.” In a civilized country, they would have been fined and possibly jailed. In Hussein’s Iraq, they were summarily tried and executed. The Iraq High Tribunal has found Tariq Aziz, long the public face of Hussein’s reign of terror, guilty of his role in the murders, along with two of Hussein’s half-brothers, who were sentenced to death. Aziz escaped with a 15-year sentence, which means he’ll probably die in jail.

Also sentenced: Ali Hassan “Chemical Ali” al-Majid, who received a 15-year sentence, and two other former Hussein officials.

In addition to the slaughter of the 42 merchants, the men were also tried for involvement in other bruttal acts by the Hussein terror regime, including the suppression of the Shi’ia uprising, during which thousands were killed, and the chemical attaks on the Kurds.

The Iraq High Tribunal would not be functioning and these men would not be facing punishment for their crimes were it not for the U.S. invasion. No, instead Hussein would still be holding on to power, still threatening his neighbors, still shooting at U.S. planes sactioned by the U.N. to enforce the no-fly zone, still crushing his people in the name of kleptocracy.

Was it worth it? It all depends on how it turns out – something that’s very much on David Kilkullen’s mind. Kilcullen – that’s him on the left – is an Australian army officer who influenced Gen. David Petraeus’ thinking on counterinsurgency and the surge, and  he’s worried it might not turn out well at all:

Kilcullen’s ideas, as implemented by Petraeus, helped make the surge more successful than earlier American initiatives in the war, and they are likely to shape U.S. policy in Iraq and Afghanistan for the immediate future. Kilcullen, who was profiled in the New Yorker in 2006 and currently works for a think tank called the Center for New American Security (CNAS), has laid out his views in a new book, “The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One.” Filled with lists, diagrams and bullet points (never underestimate the effect of PowerPoint on contemporary official prose style), the book lays out what Kilcullen thinks America must do to redeem itself in Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention the wider Muslim world). Like many of his colleagues, however, he seems skeptical that we’ll summon the will to pull it off.

Although Kilcullen has worked for the Bush administration (most notably as an advisor to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice) he has never disguised his belief that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was “an extremely serious strategic error” — “f***ing stupid” is how he reportedly characterized it in a less formal context. Furthermore, he regards the early conduct of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan as ineffective and often self-defeating. Nevertheless, he insists that America owes it to both nations not to abandon them to the sectarian bloodshed that would probably follow a hasty withdrawal: “Regardless of anyone’s position on the decision to invade, those obligations still stand and cannot be wished away merely because they have proven inconvenient.” (Salon)

Agreed; the obligations cannot be washed away, but it is still possible, likely even, that Obama will nonetheless walk away from it, leaving too soon an Iraq that is emerging from chaos and establishing a functional, Democratic government.

And if he does, and if Iraq fails as a result, we’ll know the answer to the question “Was it worth it?”  And we won’t like the answer much.

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February 8th 2009

Sunday, Rainy Sunday, Scan

Budget Office Has No Faith In Stimulus

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he Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan provider of economic analysis to Congress, isn’t the least bit optimistic about the effect of Porkasaurus on the economy. In fact, they see it as bad news:

President Obama’s economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.

CBO estimates that by 2019 the Senate legislation would reduce GDP by 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent on net. [The House bill] would have similar long-run effects, CBO said in a letter to Sen. Judd Gregg, New Hampshire Republican, who was tapped by Mr. Obama on Tuesday to be Commerce Secretary. (WashTimes)

And what of all the jobs Obama says (models) his bill will create?  CBO dismisses the impact of Porkasaurus jobs on the economy as “minimal.” And that makes this comment from “Suggestions4Obama” particularly pathetic:

I do not understand why people are having diffculty understanding. The number of unemployed people (11.6 million) and the unemployment rate (7.6 percent) rose in January. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 4.1 million. The Department of Labor reported today that nonfarm payroll employment fell sharply in January (-598,000) and the unemployment rate rose from 7.2 to 7.6 percent. Payroll employment has declined by 3.6 million since the start of the recession in December 2007, …. most of this mess happening only in past three months! And some wonder Obama is pushing so hard for a stimulus package. Is the Herbert Hoover approach, do nothing, all we need, leading us to a twelve year depression ??

Here’s the deal, S4O:  Simply stating the problem doesn’t make the stimulus a solution. Ask the guys in the photo – after all, the Depression got worse after FDR tried to spend his way out of it. Continue Reading »

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January 31st 2009

Quotes From The Iraqi Front

“T

hese are the people we need now: people who represent everyone in Iraq and have no sectarian bias.” – Zaid Abdul-Karim, 44, an Iraqi government employee voting in today’s provincial elections.

“I just voted and I’m very happy. We could not do the same thing the last time because of the insurgency.” – Mukhalad Waleed, 35, Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province.

“We were not able to vote during the 2005 elections because of the deteriorating security situation. But now we feel safe enough to go out and vote.” – Ahmed Jassim, 19, from Baqouba, in violence-prone Diyala Province.

“[This vote is] “very important.  I want to ensure my future and the future of my children.” – Yaqdhan al-Hassani, 36, Baghdad, a married father-of-three.

“I feel great.  I feel like I am doing this for Iraq.” – Ali al-Fayath, 18, who has just turned old enough to vote.

“I am so happy. I chose the person that will represent me.” – Raad al-Shimari, 30, Baghdad

Of course all these news reports included some quotes from people frustrated by the voting process and there were scattered anti-American quotes to be found as well (NYT, anyone?), but all balanced the negative with positive.  Well, my bet is that “balanced” is a gross overstatement, that reporters had to work hard to find negative quotes and cull through reams of positive quotes to select one or two.

All of the stories reported on a lack of violence during the voting – just one incident of a couple injuries when police fired to stop people from carrying cell phones into the polling booth, since cell phones can be used to trigger bombs. As could be expected, all of the MSM stories skirted the obvious, never coming right out and stating the obvious:  In the last elections, al-Qaeda orchestrated an unsuccessful campaign of terror in an attempt to keep people from voting.  In this post-surge election, al-Qaeda was gone, vanished, irrelevant.

Here’s what they’re all avoiding saying: We won. We planted a functioning and popular Democracy in Iraq.

Sources: AP, NYT, Times of London, Int. Herald Trib, WaPo.

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December 2nd 2008

Saddam’s WMD Czar To Hang (Again)

UPDATED

S

addam Hussein’s most notorious cousin, cousin, “Chemical Ali” Hassan al-Majid, gained infamy by using modern, efficient ways to kill Hussein’s enemies, real and imagined. In the end, though, it will be the age-old rope around the neck, not some missile-born gas, that kills him.

Al-Majid was sentenced to death for the second time yesterday, along with former Baath party official Abdul-Ghani Abdul-Ghafur, this time for conspiring with Abdul-Ghafur to kill thousands while suppressing a Shi’ite uprising following the first Iraq war. His other conviction was in 2007, for the crimes against humanity he carried out in 1991 against the Kurds. He’s also on trial for orchestrating another Shi’ite massacre in 1999.

Here’s a description of the first Shi’ite massacre he commanded:

The prosecutor described the incident as one of the “ugliest crimes ever committed against humanity in modern history”. According to human rights groups, government tanks, artillery and helicopters fired indiscriminately on civilian areas and government troops rounded up and executed fighting-aged men. Estimates of the death toll vary widely, however. Conservative estimates put the number of victims in the tens of thousands, while Iraqi court officials have said that up to 180,000 died and some Shi’ite groups claim the figure exceeds 300,000.

So let’s see here. Al-Majid used WMDs in the 1980s against the Kurds, and twce in the 1990s was involved in the killings of tens of thousands of Shiites with great force, by means unspecified. Does anyone reasonably think that a regime like Hussein’s – crazed, cruel, aggressive and still, today, unrepentant – a regime that thwarted every effort for international inspections of its weapons and weapons research, a regime that elevates a man like al-Majid, would not actively pursue WMDs?

Reasonable minds would conclude that WMDs were not found because they were shuttled off to Syria, not because they were never produced.

Update:  WMDs were in the news today, and the news isn’t good:

The odds that terrorists will soon strike a major city with weapons of mass destruction are now better than even, a bipartisan congressionally mandated task force concludes in a draft study that warns of growing threats from rogue states, nuclear smuggling networks and the spread of atomic know-how in the developing world.

The sobering assessment of such threats, due for release as early as today, singled out Pakistan as a grave concern because of its terrorist networks, history of instability and arsenal of several dozen nuclear warheads. The report urged the incoming Obama administration to take “decisive action” to reduce the likelihood of a devastating attack. (WaPo)

There is no doubt in my mind that if we had not toppled Hussein, Iraq would be right up there with Pakistan as a grave concern.

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November 26th 2008

The Lies They Teach #11 And #12

L

et’s return now to Larry Schweikart’s 48 Liberal Lies about American History (That You Probably Learned in School), with two more lies from this solid review of what liberal history profs are doing to revise the past and pollute the minds of the next generation.

Lie #11 – No Terrorists or Weapons of Mass Destruction were Hiding in Iraq

A systematic search found no active production facilities or stockpiles for chemical, nuclear, or biological weapons of mass destruction, refuting one of the basic justifications for the war. – David Goldfield et al., The American Journey

Did the failure to find “active” WMD evidence in Iraq really refute one of Bush’s three justifications for the war? Ever heard of a murder conviction that came without a murder weapon or a body? Of course you have, but David Goldfield et al. would rather ignore the complex and hang on the simplistic – as would many of his colleagues.

First, the lib revisionists need to deal with who else was involved in the WMD “deception” – the French, British, Spanish, Australian, Japanese, German, Israeli intelligence services, the Egyptian and Russian presidents, the king of Jordan, and the United Nations Security Council, all of whom stated that Hussein had or was pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

Then, of course, you’d have to overlook his gassing of the Kurds, which led Hans Blix of the UN to state Hussein had 6,500 WMDs. And there were Saddam’s two sons in law, who during their brief defection testified about Iraqi WMD programs. They were executed upon their foolish return to Iraq. (So foolish that I’ll go ahead and accept that their testimony may be discounted since they were obviously idiots.)

Then there’s little niggles like this:

In 2003, a UN weapons inspector confidently stated that Ira had an ongoing nuclear program, and that he knew personally of uranium reporcessing at a facility six miles from Tarmiya. A twenty-gallon barrel found in northern Ira tested positive for Sarin, and another tested positive for mustard gas.

And Goldfield et al. conveniently ignore the tape recordings found of Hussein discussing his WMD program, and the need to hustle the evidence out of Iraq prior to an invasion – and the 56 “sorties” ‘of commercial jetliners, their seats removed, between Iraq and Syria prior to the war.

As for terrorists in Iraq, Schweikart runs through the same sort of sources – our own State Dept., evidence found in Iraq, respected publications like Janes and less respected news sources like CBS, etc. – to prove that Hussein was supporting terrorists in general and al-Qaeda in particular.

There’s plenty more in this chapter; real, hard evidence, as opposed to cute “Bush Lied, People Died” sloganeering.

Lie #12 – The Founders Envisioned a “Wall of Separation” Between Church and State, Keeping Religious Influence out of Government

The Founding Fathers did not intend to establish the United Sttes of America as a Christian nation [and] the assertion that the United States … was founded as a “Christian Nation” is itself a myth. – Mark Weldon “Whitten, The Myth of Christian America

I found myself using my Kindle’s highlighting function multiple times on every page of this chapter because its stuffed full of rebuttal of the vapid claims of the separation of church and state fanatics. If, for example, America’s founding fathers didn’t see America as a Christian nation, how come the colony’s own constitutions saw it as one. Here’s Virginia’s:

We, greatly commending, and graciously accepting of, their Deisres for the Furtherance of so noble a Work … in propagating the Christian Religion to such People [native Americans] as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true knowledge and Worship of God [establish the colony of Virginia.

The Charter of New England (1620) stated that the main objective of the colony was "the enlightenment of the Chrisitan religion, to the Glory of God Almighty."

Why, if America was not a Christian nation, did some colonies have statutes requiring attendance at church? (The sort of thing correctly precluded by a proper interpretation of separation of church and state.)

In 1812, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment allowed Christianity to "receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and freedom of religious worship." In 1892, SCOTUS found unanimously:

Our laws and institutions necessarily are based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind ... [In] this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian. … This is a Christian nation.

And it remains one to this day, if you check any national polling or any compilation by government or religious organizations.

The Chapter also delves into Jefferson’s letter, which is the basis of fraudulent interpretations of separation of church and state, effectively dismissing the arguments as misinterpretations or outright frauds.

The Lies They Teach: #9 and #10
The Lies They Teach – #8
The Lies They Teach: #6 And #7
The Lies They Teach: #4 And #5
The Lies They Teach: #1 – #3

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October 22nd 2008

Surprise! McCain Wins An Endorsement … From Al-Qaeda

T

he thinking’s a tad convoluted and not too clear on the American system, but a password-protected al-Qaeda-linked Web site gave John McCain an endorsement yesterday, nonetheless. And, even more interesting, the endorsement is predicated on a terror attack on our soil before the election.

AP reports that the al-Hesbah Web site “welcomes” such an attack because it would improve the chances that the “impetuous” McCain would seek revenge, continuing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – all part of al-Qaeda’s master plan to exhaust the US militarily and economically. [Insert evil villain laugh here.]

AP provided this quote from the site, translated by the SITE Intelligence Group :

“This [exhausting of our resources] requires presence of an impetuous American leader such as McCain, who pledged to continue the war till the last American soldier. Then, al-Qaida will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush.

“If al-Qaida carries out a big operation against American interests, this act will be support of McCain because it will push the Americans deliberately to vote for McCain so that he takes revenge for them against al-Qaida. Al-Qaida then will succeed in exhausting America till its last year in it.”

An interesting, but flawed, proposition. First, McCain has never pledged to fight until the last American soldier; he’s pledged victory. Second, America wouldn’t let him fight that fight. Third, a lot of folks have thought they could out-fight and out-last us, but if America stands by its military, it’s never happened. Vietnam, the Left’s glorious victory in forcing an American defeat, is fueling the dreams of al-Qaeda.

Al-Qaeda would lose fewer fighters and accomplish more with an Obama victory. Iraq would re-open to them without a shot fired, and Obama is certain to tire of a real fight in Afghanistan before long. His position on Afghanistan as the real war is merely window dressing – when he made it, Afghanistan looked like an easy win, and Iraq looked like a long, tough slog. He’s definitely anti-long, tough slog and his supporters know it and like it. They favor a big, money-filled government teat to suck on, and long, hard slogs get in the way of that.

Al-Qaeda is overlooking one other thing, too: Its total victory over ignoble Spain. There a major bombing spree days before the election resulted in a surrender vote, Spain’s withdrawal from the War on Terror, and an al-Qaeda victory.

Would a major terrorist event just before the election rally America for more war? Look at the Teflon popularity of Obama, who’s whole campaign is predicated on the wisdom of his vote against Iraq and whose supporters aren’t likely to stick with him for long if he begins to adopt an LBJ persona.

AP admits that the suspected author of the post, Muhammad (Muhammed?! Knock me over with a feather!) Haafid, would not be privy to al-Qaeda planning and does not speak officially for the group. So it’s pretty much just blog-fodder.

That being the case, here’s an appropriate blog-thought. They plan an attack. McCain gets wind of it and wipes them out single-handedly, Jack Bauer-like, wrapping it up with a gravelly whisper, “C’mon now, you didn’t think you could whip my America, did you?”

Landslide McCain.

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October 13th 2008

Good News Is No News

W

e must be winning in Iraq – after all, American journalists there are closing down shop. You know that if we were losing (and there was a Republican in the White House) every major news outlet in America would be putting its employees at risk to report on the debacle. But WaPo assures us that’s not the case:

BAGHDAD — The number of foreign journalists in Baghdad is declining sharply, a media withdrawal that reflects Iraq’s growing stability and the financial strains faced by some news organizations.

In a stark indication of the changing media focus here, the number of journalists traveling with American forces in Iraq has plummeted in the past year. U.S. military officials say they “embedded” journalists 219 times in September 2007. Last month, the number shrank to 39. Of the dozen U.S. newspapers and newspaper chains that maintained full-time bureaus in Baghdad in the early years of the war, only four are still permanently staffed by foreign correspondents. CBS and NBC no longer keep a correspondent in Baghdad year-round.

CBS and NBC? Really? Knock me over with a feather. The last thing they’d want to do is report good news from Iraq.

Not only have the American people largely lost interest in Iraq because they’ve become convinced that the war is winding down to an end, the story out of Iraq is becoming more complicated and more difficult to report. That pretty much leaves out the networks. Here’s the new story:

Gen. David G. Perkins, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said stories about violence get top billing. Less-sensational events, such as a recent voter-registration drive for the highly anticipated provincial elections expected early next year, go largely uncovered in the Western news media, he said.

“There are a lot of things going on, a lot of very complicated things going on. And to cover that, you really have to understand the details and the sophistication of it,” Perkins said. “When you have a big explosion where 20 people die, it doesn’t take much understanding of the intricacies of what’s going on in the country to run out there with a camera and report that 20 people have been killed.”

When it bleeds, it leads, and wherever frequent leads are coming from demands an ongoing press presence. But now that the story has turn to the mundane news of victory, of Iraq building a democracy brick by brick – something most of the media never thought would happen – the bureaus get shut down and the reporters get called back home.

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With Obama winning the presidency by seven percent, we can't blame the media. Their laudatory coverage and refusal to extensively probe into Obama's background and [lack of] experience was at best responsible for five percent of his vote, the pundits tell us. Here is a compilation of over 100 significant instances of pro-Obama/anti-McCain bias during the 2008 campaign.

For all 'Media Bias 2008' – Click Here

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