Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Biden's remarks kill two birds with one mouth

Earlier today, I posted on Senator Joe Biden's starting out his run for the White House by dissing the other candidates.

Aside from his classless remarks about Senator Clinton and John Edwards, he had this to say about Senator Barack Obama: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

Needless to say, that's the one the media went with and splashed all over the place.

It ranks up there with Biden's lil' ethnic joke about Americans of Indian heritage and 7-11's,

Now, Senator Obama decided to go Biden one better:

He released a statement seizing on Biden's use of the word `articulate'.

"I didn't take Sen. Biden's comments personally, but obviously they were historically inaccurate," Obama said. "African-American presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton gave a voice to many important issues through their campaigns, and no one would call them inarticulate."

Most of the people he cited could be described as greedy, corrupt, self serving, parasitic, racist and anti-Semitic maybe..but not,G-d forbid, inarticulate!

These, along with another self serving bigot and anti-Semite, Malcolm X appear to be Senator Obama's heroes and role models. And that says everything about him that I or any other decent American should need to know.

Hey, I always hoped Joe Biden would turn out to be good for something besides a few cheap giggles. It appears he's inadvertently outed another bigot hoping to sneak into the White House.

Was Iran behind the kidnap /murder of US troops in Iraq?

This one is bubbling under the headlines.

Joshua's Army members may remember that I wrote about the kidnap murder of 5 US sldiers in Karbala and speculated that it was most probably an inside job.... seeing as the jihadis mounted a sophisticated operation complete with US arms and uniforms, and knew exactly where the Americans were, when they would be there, and had the means to get to them easily..while none of the Iraqis they were meeting with in a supposedly secure compound was even touched.

It appears I was right on the money.

The Pentagon is investigating what it believes was Iran's involvement in the Karbala compound attack.

The Pentagon has what they describe as a `preliminary view' based on multiple sources in the military and intelligence community, that the attack was far too sophisticated for Shia militias (particularly the Mahdi Army) or al Qaeda inIraq, and that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or men trained by them carried out the attack in retaliation for the capture by U.S. forces of five of its members in Irbil, Iraq, on January 11.

If that's true, it also means that some of our Iraqi `allies' set our guys up for their jihad buddies.

More food for thought : The US, as I reported here earlier had scheduled a major press conference to detail Iran's involvement in supporting the Shiite militias and death squads, as well as the Sunni insurgency, al-Qaeda in Iraq and Ansar al-Sunnah with Major General Bill Caldwell on today at 7:00 AM Eastern. The briefing was supposed to include details including shipping documents, serial numbers, maps and other evidence to link the mullahs to weapons shipments to Iraq.

This briefing has now been put on hold, perhaps to flesh out the investigation of Iran's involvement in the murder of our troops in Karballa - or maybe to buy some time to answer the probable follow-up questions on what the US should do about it.

Or maybe even to avoid having the US do something about it altogether.

Stay tuned..this could be major.

Why Israelis are afraid - very afraid

Blogpal and Joshua's Army member Canker ( check out his superb site for first hand accounts fromthe UK) was kind enough to the following along, an article by Israeli writers Michael Oren and Yossi Klein Halevi on why Israelis are afraid—very afraid of a nuclear Iran.

I'm not a huge fan of the authors, both of whom are involved in playing `catch-up' because of their long advocacy of concessions to Israel's enemies. Better late than never, I suppose.

While regular members of Joshua's Army will already be aware of most of this information -and indeed, quite a bit more - this is a neat capsulization of the threat hanging over Israel's head.

As the authors put it, Israelis recall how the international community reacted with indifference once before as a massively armed nation declared war against the Jewish people — and they sense a similar pattern today.

To be articulate, clean and Black - Biden's running for president

I wasn't really planning on writing about Senator Joe Biden(d-DE) announcing for the presidency, but the senator made it - ummmmmm- irresistable.

He launched his bid in typically classy style by dissing the other presumptive Democrat nominees in an interview with the New York Observer:

On Senator Clinton: "Everyone in the world knows her...her husband has used every single legitimate tool in his behalf to lock people in, shut people down. Legitimate. And she can’t break out of 30 percent for a choice for Democrats? Where do you want to be? Do you want to be in a place where 100 percent of the Democrats know you? They’ve looked at you for the last three years. And four out of 10 is the max you can get?”

On Senator Obama: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

On ex-Senator John Edwards: “I don’t think John Edwards knows what the heck he is talking about...John Edwards wants you and all the Democrats to think, ‘I want us out of there (Iraq),’ but when you come back and you say, ‘O.K., John, what about the chaos that will ensue? Do we have any interest, John, left in the region?’ Well, John will have to answer yes or no. If he says yes, what are they? What are those interests, John? How do you protect those interests, John, if you are completely withdrawn? Are you withdrawn from the region, John? Are you withdrawn from Iraq, John? In what period? So all this stuff is like so much Fluffernutter out there."

I'm sure that Senator Clinton and John Edwards are happy about the respect they're being shown by Biden. And Senator Obama? He must be sho' nuff tickled pink that de liberal white senator thinks of him as clean enough to mix with the quality on dat ol' senate floor!

This particular gas bag may already have gone the way of the Hindenburg, but I hope not..he's too much fun.

Hard to believe someone at this level of development is a real live US senator.

Brits arrest 9 Muslims in terrorist kidnap plot

British Authorities swooped down on nine people who were attempting to pull of an `Iraq style' snuff film...the kidnaping of a UK soldier, followed by a video beheading.

The Evening Standard newspaper reported that video footage of the kidnap victim would have been used to pressure Prime Minister Tony Blair to pull British troops out of Iraq.

The soldier who was targeted, a Muslim man in his 20s, is now reportedly under police guard.

The raids were carried out in pre-dawn raids in predominantly Muslim sections of Birmingham.

British MPs defy ban, meet with Hamas

I suppose I knew this was coming....
now British MPS are ignoring their own laws to meet with Hamas.

Five members of a group of Israel bashers called the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group met with Hamas ministers last week while visiting the Palestinian Authority.

Of course, British ministers and officials are supposedly banned from meeting members of Hamas because Britain has properly labeled Hamas as an international terrorist group.

In another example of how low Tony Blair's current status is, most of them, like the groups' leader Richard Burden, are part of Blair's Labour party - Burden is the MP for heavily Muslim Birmingham Northfield.

Of course, Burden defended the meeting, saying that opening dialogue with Hamas was the best way to make progress for `peace'.

And never mind that Hamas doesn't recognize Israel's existence, right? A mere detail.

Obviously there are a lot of Brits who can hardly wait to deal.

I think many of our cousins across the pond are under the mistaken impression that if they give the jihadis Israel, their own problems with a restive Muslim minority with fade away.

They couldn't be more wrong, and it's a pity they haven't learned this from their history.

Watcher's Council Nominations, 1/30/07

Every week, the Watcher's Council nominate two posts each, one from the Council members and one from outside for consideration by the whole Council. The complete list of this week's Council nominations can be found at the site of our fearless leader, Watcher of Weasels

COUNCIL NEWS: The Council has a new member, replacing Major Andrew Olmstead. The new member is Bookworm Room, and from what I've seen of the site, she will be a superb addition. Check her out!

OK, here's this week's lineup:

1. J O S H U A P U N D I T: Bush on the ropes....and the State of the Union Ahhh, Dubbya (shakes head)....This week's entry is my take on the president's State of the Union address last Tuesday.

The president is out of gas and barely hanging on to any semblance of credibility at this point. And he has no one but himself to blame.

As I point out, the dissatisfaction with Bush and his abysmally low poll numbers are not coming from the left - they've hated him since 2000 - but from the people that supported him on the right and in the center. And oddly enough, the polls I've seen indicate that the majority of Americans distrust the current Democratic leadership in Congress almost as much as the president.

The country's hungry for leadership and we're not getting it.

2. Done With Mirrors: Patton medicine Callimachus has a real winner this week. He suggests (rightly, IMO)that one of the biggest problems with our war effort is the failure by the Bush Administration to take it seriously and fight it as a real war...and speculates, by implication, whether western societies have it in them to fight real all out wars any more. For my part,I think we definitely do..when we're not sabotaged by incompetent and insipid leadership that substitutes bellicose speech for action.

He also questions why it was necessary to detail the `surge' plan in Bush's Iraq speech rather than simply implementing it, and wonders whether there is such a thing as national secrets anymore in the age of the internet.

As I pointed out in a comment I left on his site, the problem isn't the internet, but the lack of real consequences for those who leak confidential information or otherwise deal in sedition. The fact that the Bush Administration has done nothing in this area is just another example of their not taking this war seriously.

We do indeed need a dose of Patton medicine..and Stonewall medicine as well.

3. Soccer Dad: Too cynical for david broder Soccer Dad has a fine piece this week about David Broder's take on Senator Hillary Clinton's statement during the confirmation of Gen David Petraeus. Soccer Dad agrees with Broder's slapdown of Senator Clinton for using this platform to make a statement about her feelings on how the war is going, while not asking the general a single question.

I don't.

Aside from the fact that Senator Clinton has been much more sensible about the War on Jihad than much of her party, I think she had a perfect right to voice her dismay with the way the Bush Administration has mismanaged the war without being accused of mere political posturing. Were I in her position, I would also see little to gain by grilling General Petraeus. All the Senate can do at this point is confirm him and hope that this soldier's soldier can rescue the situation....unless the Senate is going to pull the plug on financing the war entirely and end it that way.

4. Right Wing Nut House - 9/11: JUST A REAL BAD DAY The dinosaur media and leftist academia - the gifts that just keep on giving...

This week Rick writes on a bit of pretentious nonsense by David Bell, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University that appeared in the LA Times and essentially put forth the prop-pay-si-shun that the jihadi threat to America is non-existential and we're all just overreacting to 3,000 of our fellow Americans being barbecued.

Rick skewers this idiot effectively.

5. The Sundries Shack: 2007 SotU Democratic Rebuttal TidbitsHere, Jimmie Bise fisksSenator Jim Webb's rebuttal to the president's SOTU, and comes up with a few ideas I hadn't considered, upset as I was with the president's sorry performance -mea culpa, and a fine one by Jimmie.

6. Rhymes With Right: Union Membership Down Here, Greg has an interesting piece in which he notes that union membership is down to historic lows (12%). He explores the reasons for this, but misses one key factor IMO...our open borders and illegal immigration.

7. The Glittering Eye: The fog of war Dave Schuler is extremely good at laying out opposing viewpoints on a given issue on the table, examining them, and piecing the threads together. This week's piece is classic Dave, as he examines opposing viewpoints on the Iraq war.

As Dave put it: "Do you believe the soldier who fought there, the former INC functionary, the NYT journalist, the Iraqi scholar, or the American soldier-scholar? None of them? All of them? The ones who support your preferred outcome?"

OK, I'll say it one more time...I support victory. And if, as President Bush says, our goal is a stable democracy that will become our ally in what he still calls the War on Terror, success is already within reach. All we have to do is help the Kurds establish a strong,independent Kurdistan, take them up on their offer to put bases there and redeploy our troops into the territory of our new ally.

8. AMERICAN FUTURE - Israel’s Position on the Iranian Threat Like our president,Israel's ineffectual Ehud Olmert loves to employ bellicose speeches and than do absolutely nothing to `walk the walk' as it were. Marc examines Olmert's remarks at the recent Herzliya Conference in detail

Israel is indeed facing an existential threat from Iran, as is the US.

Normally, such common dangers bring nations together to confront them...but in this case, the US (or at least its leadership) appear to be unwilling to work in concert with Israel to take out Iran for fear of offending the president's Saudi friends, and is holding its fire, hoping Israel will act unilaterally, while Olmert is hoping that the Americans will step up to the plate and take out the mullahs so Israel doesn't have to!

An absurd and pathetic situation, to be sure...

9. The COLOSSUS OF RHODEY: But Dan says "There's not two sides to this story!" Hube takes on the global warming controversy with his typical verve...

10. Francis W. Porretto - The Imperative Of The Age Part 2: Plans Francis, in the second part of a two parter examines the implications of a disarmed society versus one where people carry arms and can defend themselves.

Indeed, the first step in any tyranny is to disarm the populace, something our founding fathers knew instinctively when they penned the Second Amendment.

Francis further relates this to the War on Jihad, saying: "Should a terrorist with a bomb or a canister of poison gas slip onto a crowded Manhattan subway at rush hour, what could anyone do about it? Should a terrorist with a shoulder-launched missile park near Kennedy Airport and take aim at an airliner carrying several hundred innocents, what could anyone do about it?"

In New York City,with its gun laws, not much.

11. They’ve finally admitted it: Bookworm Room In her debut piece, Council newbie Bookworm writes about the Eilat homicide bombing and what it reveals about the Palestinians and the Arab World in their attitudes towards Israel.

And slapping together a second Arab Palestinian state will do absolutely nothing to change that.

12.The Education Wonks: Education In Afghanistan: Running In Reverse
EdWonk examines how the resurgent Taliban, after doing its best to destroy education in Afghanistan is now trying to preempt it with its own madrassahs.

That's this week's lineup..enjoy!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A word on bipartisanship.......

This photo of Senators McCain and Clinton was taken at a dedication ceremony for The Center for the Intrepid - a new $50 million rehabilitation center for soldiers who lost limbs or were severely burned in the Iraq war.

While the two senators have very different views on Iraq, both McCain and Clinton, who both sit on the Senate Armed Services Committee, agreed that support and treatment for wounded veterans is a national obligation.

They've reportedly been friends since a congressional trip to Estonia in 2004 when, according to legend, the former first lady got in a vodka drinking contest with McCain and other male senators.

I have to commend Senator McCain and Senator Clinton. I disagree with both of them on a number of issues, but in view of the poisonous climate in Washington these days, they are setting an example that many others could emulate.

That strange term `bipartisanship' used to be called something different, by the way...patriotism, in the sense of real affection for the country, it's people and it's institutions overriding one's ego, ambitions, or personal agenda.

Neither of the two senators above would be my first choice for president at this time, but if they run against each other in 2008 and events somehow don't overtake us, we might indeed have that chance for the `national conversation' Senator Clinton spoke about.

The country would benefit from that.

Iran's new satellite venture shows that they can threaten Europe, Israel..or the US

Something that has barely scraped the surface of the dinosaur media is the inside story of Iran's planned space satellite. And more importantly, the full implication of what a successful satellite launch means.

The Mullahs have proclaimed that Iran is close to the planned launch of a spy satellite by a BM25 ballistic missile, 18 of which were purchased from North Korea. By the way, please note that these missiles are only obtainable to Iran via Russia - which collects a healthy commission on the sale for allowing the merchandise to pass through its territory.

Allaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, said last week that Iran had finished building a reconnaissance satellite and converted a ballistic missile into a space launcher. If this claim is correct, then Iran has a launch capacity able to put over 660 lbs.(the approximate estimated weight of a reconnaissance satellite) into earth orbit.

Iran's new Shehab 3ER can strike any part of the Middle East as far west as Turkey. But the new adapted BM25s with a range of up to 2,500 miles can reach targets in Europe. And if converted into a space launcher, that would give Iran an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of dropping a 660 lb. payload an anywhere in the world..including Washington DC.

This far outweighs any threat from a recon satellite, which would probably burn out of orbit in a couple of months.

Iran has, according to the most reliable sources, the Iranian dissidents recently upgraded its Shehab missiles to run on solid fuel. They have also reportedly purchased a dozen Kh 55 nuclear-capable cruise missiles from the Ukraine's nuclear arsenal. While these were reportedly sold minus their 200-kiloton warheads, Iran is rapidly approaching being able to replace the warheads.

The `open ' plant at Natanz, as the Iranians revealed, is activating 3,000 new centrifuges, while Iran's hidden nuclear facility at Neyshabour that I first wrote about on these pages back in April of last year is due to come online by the end of 2007. That plant, also being built by the Russians is designed to run 155,000 advanced p2 centrifuges, enough to enrich uranium for 3-5 nuclear bombs a year.

This was the reason, in my opinion, why Washington quickly cut deals to get elements of its anti-ballistic missile system based in Poland and the Czech Republic, prepared to intercept any prospective Iranian missiles headed towards Europe.

The Russians are extremely opposed to the US having missiles based in two former Warsaw Pact countries. Russian defense minister Sergei Ivanov claims that there's no threat from either Iran or North Korea, and that the American missiles, as he implied, are pointed at Moscow - even though these are defensive rather than offensive systems.

Determined to protect their nuclear stake in Iran , the Russians have sped up construction on both the Bushehr and Neyshabour plants, as well as accelerating delivery of advanced Tor-M1 anti-missile missile systems for guarding Iranian nuclear installations. Putin also promised Iran that the fuel that could be used for the manufacture of nuclear weapons would be released to Iran no later than March. Until now the Russians have been going slow on the reactor they had contracted to build at Bushehr on the Gulf coast of southwestern Iran and were delaying the release of the fuel for that reactor.

The Russians are not even bothering to make a pretense of obeying even the toothless `sanctions' passed by the UN on Iran.

The hour grows late. What will the `decider' do?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Homicide Bomber's family rejoices in his `martyrdom'

The family of today's Eilat homicide bomber, Muhammad Saqsaq was
absolutely thrilled that he managed to murder some innocent people who never did him any harm.

"The whole family was very happy when it heard that Muhammad is the hero who carried out the attack," said Naim Saqsaq, the brother of Muhammad Saqsaq, who carried out the suicide attack in Eilat that killed three people.

"We knew that he was waiting and praying for this moment. He always said, 'If only I could be a shahid, if only I could carry out an attack.' And here Allah gave him the privilege."

Naim Saqsaq said that in his opinion, by carrying out the terror attack, he wanted to send the message: "There is no place for killing and internal war, and that we should only fight against 'the Zionist enemy.'"

According to Naim, "He got his wish, and we got this honor. The people in the mourners' tent in Beit Lahiya are praising us for this action that came at such a difficult and sensitive time for the Palestinians – a time in which Palestinian blood is being spilled."

These people don't need a state....they need long term psychiatric care, in a secluded place where they can't harm anyone else.

Barack Hussein Obama..curiouser and curiouser..

"He comes from a father who was a Muslim. I mean, I think that given we’re at war with Muslim extremists, that presents a problem." -NPR's Juan Williams

The more Barack Hussein Obam attempts damage control on his Islamic background, the more questions he raises.

First his PR people denied that he had been educated in a madrassa, or Islamic school, when he lived in Indonesia as a boy.

“The Indonesian school Obama attended in Jakarta is a public school that is not and never has been a madrassa,” said a statement put out by the senator’s staff.

But the school did teach the Quran, along with subjects such as math and science, according to Obama, who attended when he was 9 and 10.

Note to the Senator's staff: if the school was teaching Islamic studies, it was a madrassah.That's what madrassahs do, and many of them include secular subjects along with religious classes.

Obama further claims that his father was an atheist, but then admits in one of his memoirs that he was buried as a Muslim.

The statement put out by Obama’s office last week simply referred to his father as “an atheist,” without mentioning his Muslim upbringing or burial.

Obama's stepfather, of course, was and is a practicing Muslim. “It was to Lolo that I turned to for guidance and instruction,” Obama recalled. “He introduced me as his son.”

Obama's father, stepfather, Grandfather and brother are or were all Muslims.

Obama's grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, for whom the senator was given his middle name, Hussein, is especially interesting. Senator Obama admirably noted in his first memoir, `Dreams' that his grandfather was fiercely devoted to Islam, could not understand such ideas as mercy towards your enemies, or that this man Jesus could wash away a man’s sins. According to Obama's memoir, his grandfather considered that `foolish sentiment, something to comfort women'.

Obama also has fond words for his brother Abongo's strict Muslim observance...while remaining highly critical of what he has called “the religious absolutism of the Christian right.”

Another red flag is Obama's apparent admiration for Malcolm X, the one time poster boy for the Nation of Islam, until he got into a turf war with Elijah Muhammed and Louis Farakhan and ended up on the wrong end of a shotgun.

“Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different,” Obama has written. “His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will.”

He added: “Malcolm’s discovery toward the end of his life, that some whites might live beside him as brothers in Islam, seemed to offer some hope of eventual reconciliation.”

Malcolm X, of course, was a lifelong anti-Semite and religious bigot who refused to recognize any faith but Islam, along with his other qualities.

If this is someone Barak Obama admires, it's a problem... like his constant downplaying of his Islamic background.

For interested parties, I note that Chicago in Senator Obama's home state is the headquarters and main center of the Nation of Islam here in America.

Senate Democrats quash amendment to fine employers for hiring illegal aliens

Why am I not surprised?

In the midst of the debate over a bill to increase the federal minimum wage, Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions offered an amendment to the bill now being debated to increase the federal minimum wage.

He offered a common sense amendment that would increase the fines on employers hiring illegal aliens , arguing that laws aimed at cutting back on the hiring of illegal aliens would do far more to help low-income wage earners than just raising the minimum wage. Not only do aliens displace U.S. citizens in the work force, he said, they also artificially suppress wages....something anyone in the building, construction or service trades can tell you about first hand.

"Our whole purpose of the minimum-wage act is to increase the wages of working Americans, particularly low-skilled workers," Mr. Sessions said. "That's a noble goal."

One of the reasons "that those salaries have lagged behind is because of a large influx of illegal immigrant labor," he said. "That is indisputable, and it's not been discussed much here. People apparently don't want to talk about it, but we're going to talk about it."

Sorry Senator. Not in this Congress.

Led by Ted Kennedy (d-MA), the Senate Democratic leaders refused to let the amendment reach the Senate floor.

Kennedy was in typical form.

"Amendment here, Amendment there....amendment on Social Security, amendment on immigration. And all the chortling and laughing as they go on about their business..."

Republicans are "not for those millions of Americans who are heading home tonight, who've worked long and hard, facing their children hoping that at last ... the United States isn't going to fail us," he said. "What do we tell them after five days?"

Of course, after accusing Republicans of stalling, Kennedy then took five or ten minutes to read aloud in to the record a story in the New York Times about soldiers fighting in Iraq.

Sessions, of course, rightly denied that his amendment was a delaying tactic and claimed it was directly related to the minimum wage bill. His provision, he said, gets at the very reason a minimum-wage increase is needed in the first place. He had the wit to refer to his quashed amendment as "comprehensive wage reform," a cute takeoff on the "comprehensive" approach to immigration reform that President Bush and the Democrats as pushing.

In the end, of course it all came to nothing, even though the language of Senator Sessions' amendment came directly out of the employer-sanctions section of the immigration-reform bill approved with overwhelming Democratic support last year.

Sessions was able to get through another amendment on the same bill aimed at federal government contractors who are caught hiring illegal aliens.It would bar them from bidding on future government contracts for ten years

"It's astounding how widespread this problem is," Mr. Sessions said. "In one alarming incident, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was caught allowing illegal aliens who obtained documentation by using fake Social Security numbers to work as contract painters at nuclear facilities."

Now that's even scarier then Ted Kennedy running amuck in the Senate.

How `jihadization' of younger Muslims in the West is increasing

Two items today for your attention, Joshua's Army members. They both essentially corroborate the increasing radicalization of Muslims in dar harb.

The first one comes from Canada, where Canada's Canada's intelligence service came out with a study that concludes that the jihadization of Muslim youth in Canada is a 'rapid process'.

This study, released under Canada's Access to Information Act, was done by the CSIS in an attempt by the Canadian government to understand why and how some Canadian Muslims became involved in terrorist plots.

The study concluded that younger Muslims are being radicalized by what it referred to as `extremist preachers' who are focusing on a Western 'war on Islam'.

The report notes that younger jihadists are now often getting their inspiration online from spiritual leaders who are "available 24/7. The transformation from radical to jihadist can be a very rapid process."

At the other end of the pond, a study found that younger British Muslims are far more likely to hold radical, pro jihad views than their parents or grandparents .

The study found that 40 per cent of Muslims between the ages of 16 and 24 want to live in Britain under sharia law, compared to about 17 per cent of those Muslims aged 55 and over. Which means that they favor legally mandated discrimination against women, homosexuals and non-Muslims, and dominance in society by Muslims.

The survey, carried out by what the BBC refers to as `the centre-right Policy Exchange' of over 1,000 Muslims from different age groups in the UK also found that:

* 71% of over-55s compared with 62% of 16 to 24-year-olds feel they have as much, if not more, in common with non-Muslims in Britain than with Muslims abroad

* 19% of over-55s compared with 37% of 16 to 24-year-olds would prefer to send their children to Islamic state schools

* 28% of over-55s compared with 74% of 16 to 24-year-olds prefer Muslim women to choose to wear the hijab

* 3% of over-55s compared with 13% of 16 to 24-year-olds admire organisations like al-Qaeda that are prepared to fight the West

If any Americans feel that this is merely a problem for Canadians and Europeans, take a peak sometime at what the Saudis are teaching here in our own back yard at the mosques and madrassahs they fund and control.

Our loyal Iraqi `allies' are looking to boost their ties with Iran

Hey, Maliki! how much more money and arms do you think you can get from those stupid infidels before we kick them out?

As I've said for a long time on these pages, the Shiite government we allowed to take over in Iraq is merely biding it's time before saying `thanks infidels, for your time and money - now get lost so we can bond with our jihad buddies in Iran.'

The latest evidence of this comes from Iran's ambassador to Iraq, who revealed that the Iranian government is is working on increased ties with the Maliki government, including military and economic ties.

This is probably what was being discussed with the Maliki government when they were meeting with the Iranians last month.

The Iranian ambassador announced, among other things, that Iran would soon open a national bank in Baghdad. An Iraqi banking official confirmed that Iran has received a license to open what would be the first "wholly owned subsidiary bank" of a foreign country in Iraq.

All the better and easier to fund Moqtada al Sadr, Iran's agents in Iraq and the other jihadi ventures.

Israel attacked again by its 'Partners in Peace'; 3 dead in homicide bombing in Eilat

The Palestinians have been trying to pull another one of these off for months. Today they finally succeeded.

Three Israeli civilians were killed and two others were critically wounded this morning in an homicide bombing attack that blew up a bakery in a shopping area located in Eilat's Izidor neighborhood. The bakery was packed with shoppers getting things like a bagel and a morning cup of coffee.

Just to provide a little understanding, `critically wounded' usually refers to people who have had shrapnel penetrate their internal organs and/or have lost limbs and are in imminent danger of dying. It doesn't include people who have suffered, perhaps, the loss of an eye, or who have had serious injuries but who's condition has been stabilized.

The common Palestinian practice is to pack their bombs with nuts, bolts and screws soaked in strychnine or rat poison to maximize casualties.

This attack was a joint venture. `Credit' for the bombing was claimed by Islamic Jihad and Fatah's al-Aksa Martyr's Brigade, who are on `moderate' Mahmoud Abbas' payroll.

Hamas, of course, was also fine with it. A Hamas government spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum called this attack legitimate "resistance" against Israel.

The latest flurry of attempts and this attack obviously were designed to take the Palestinian focus off of killing each other and back on killing Jews. The statement from Islamic Jihad said as much, and it echoed the earlier speech by Abbas urging the Palestinians to "Aim the guns against Israel."

There were the usual condemnations from the EU, the UN and of course, the United States.

But here's a morsel for your thoughts: All of them, including the present Israeli government are scurrying around giving money and arms to Abbas and his friends and pushing to put together a Palestinian state.

Exactly what do they expect will change once that happens, since the majority of Palestinians regard Israel as illegitimate and all of its Jewish population as fair game? Would the Palestinians be any more peaceful neighbors than they were after Oslo? After Gaza?

One more time - one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

An end to the Arab Israeli conflict is certainly possible.....but not until the fallacy of creating a second Arab Palestinian state on Israel's borders inhabited by people like this is abandoned.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

An inside job....

Or at least that's what it seems like to me....

The US military has finally provided details of five U.S. soldiers killed in a sophisticated attack in southern Iraq last week.

Originally, the military had stated that five soldiers in Karbala died fending off the Jan. 20 attack on a provincial security building, but details of what happened were not released.

Now, it appears that four of the soldiers were kidnapped, handcuffed and executed by Iraqis wearing US gear, equipped with American weapons and with full documentation allowing them to get through checkpoints.

"The attackers went straight to where the Americans were located in the provincial government facility, bypassing the Iraqi police in the compound," Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Baghdad, said in a statement. "We are looking at all the evidence to determine who or what was responsible for the breakdown in security at the compound and the perpetration of the assault."

U.S. and Iraqi soldiers were at a provincial security headquarters discussing safety for pilgrims participating in an annual religious ceremony when the jihadis got past ther checkpoints and stormed the building.

"The armed militants wore American-looking uniforms and carried U.S.-type weapons convincing Iraqi checkpoints to allow their passage," the statement said. (`militants'?)

In other words, the jihadis knew exactly where the Americans were, when they would be there, and had the means to get to them easily.

One soldier was killed and three were wounded by a hand grenade thrown into the main office, which includes the headquarters of the provincial police chief.

"The Iraqis in the meeting were not harmed or even touched," an Iraqi military official said.

Now, does that smell, or what?

Once they had the captives in hand the jihadis were able to take the the captured soldiers from Karbala dozens of miles to Babil province, confidently driving past at least one checkpoint.

"The vehicles did not stop at checkpoints, they drove right through them," said an Iraqi military officer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Just as if it was all previously arranged, hmmmmm?

Our troops ended up being murdered execution-style:

"Two soldiers were found handcuffed together in the back of one of the SUVs," the U.S. military statement said. "Both had suffered gunshot wounds and were dead. A third soldier was found shot and dead on the ground. Nearby, the fourth soldier was still alive, despite a gunshot wound to the head."

The fourth soldier died en route to the hospital.

This was a setup in my opinion, with our soldiers,who were embedded and involved in training the Iraqis set up by our `allies'.

Just the other day, I heard ABC's Terry McCarthy, one of the better reporters on theground inIraq talking about how most of our troops were increasingly wary of the Iraqi police and soldiers, particularly the Shiites, and were reluctant to follow up on tips to take out jihadis because they were afraid of being set up for ambushes.

I've heard the same thing from some of our guys in Iraq.

Speaking of recycled garbage...Jane Fonda surfaces

Yesterday's well orchestrated protests by the Angry Left in Washington brought a decent crowd out to the Capitol Mall today, including a half-dozen lawmakers and a few of the usual Hollywood celebrities.

One of them, of course, was Jane Fonda, who, I'm sure, had more than a few acid flashbacks to the glory days of the 1970's. Notice the button she's wearing? `Vietnam Veterans against the war.'

So much for that `apology' Fonda made.

One of the congressmen in attendance was House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. John Conyers,who was a featured speaker. he threatened to use congressional spending power to try to stop the war. "George Bush has a habit of firing military leaders who tell him the Iraq war is failing," he said, looking out at the masses. "He can't fire you." Referring to Congress, the Michigan Democrat added: "He can't fire us.

"The founders of our country gave our Congress the power of the purse because they envisioned a scenario exactly like we find ourselves in today. Now only is it in our power, it is our obligation to stop Bush."

Of course, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon were on hand to share the podium with Hanoi Jane..

By the way, anyone interested in finding out who `United for Peace and Justice' is, go here.

There was a small counter demonstration, led by Army Corporal Joshua Sparling, 25, who lost his leg to a bomb in Iraq.

He said the anti-war protesters "need to remember the sacrifice we have made and what our fallen comrades would say if they are alive."

Sorry, Corporal Sparling. These people couldn't care less.

As most of you know, I have some major differences with the Bush Administration on the Iraq War and the almost farcical mismanagement of Iraq by the Bush Administration. Those differences don't extend to what these people want - a forced withdrawal with no strategic conditions of a victorious army who has performed magnificently and who, like in Vietnam is being forced into a premature defeat by outright subversion at home.

Of course, Fonda and many of her pals have been down that road before.

This time, however there's one difference.
Thirty odd years ago, when these people's traitorous impulses sabotaged a successful withdrawal and settlement in Vietnam, broke our country's pledged word and led to carnage and slavery in Vietnam and Cambodia, nobody bothered about it too much. The Left was able to pretend there were no consequences and that they bore no responsibility. It was just a bunch of faceless people across the ocean getting whacked.

This time, if these people get their way, the carnage and consequences will be felt here, on American soil.

Right now, we have the power to destroy our enemies, but lack the will, while our enemies have the will but lack the power. The equation won't remain that way forever.

Kerry: `The US is a pariah nation....'

Senator Kerry & his favorite world leaders - Amr Moussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, Turkey's Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Ahmed Mahmoud Nazif, Prime Minister of Egypt, Adil Abd al-Mahdi, Vice-President of Iraq, and Mohammad Khatami, former President of Iran.

The junior senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had a few things to say to his pals at the World Economic forum in Davos, Switzerland today....

" When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto, when we are irresponsibly slow in moving toward AIDS in Africa, when we don't advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy," Kerry said.

"So we have a crisis of confidence in the Middle East — in the world, really. I've never seen our country as isolated, as much as a sort of international pariah for a number of reasons as it is today."

Interesting words from Senator Kerry..posing for a photo op next to the man who said the `problem' of Israel could be solved by one nuclear bomb' on Holocaust Remembrance Day. As if anything the US has done in terms of human rights or undermining Human freedom could be remotely comparable to the nations who representatives he's standing next to.

Aside from that, the senator is on record as one of the overwhelming number of congressmen who voted against the US adopting the Kyoto Protocol!

Senator Kerry, of course, is doing what he's always done throughout his public life - trashing and undermining his country. Whether it's meeting with our enemies to plot `political strategy' to undermine the US during wartime, voting to undercut our military in congress or indulging in rhetoric like this, Senator Kerry can be relied on to be consistently detrimental to his nation's best interests..

There must be something in the water at Davos. This is the same place where ex-president Clinton made his famous remarks about how the nation he felt was most democratic and that he felt most ideologically close to was the Islamic Republic of Iran, the place where ex-CNN honcho Eason Jordan made those lying remarks about US troops `targeting journalists' for murder and was forced to resign.

Maybe it's just being cozied up in a nice, ritzy environment with your fellow elites and anti-Americans. I wouldn't know.

Kerry, of course, won't be forced to resign, and will, indeed, probably suffer zero consequences...perhaps the good people of Massachusetts are just fine having someone like this represent them. But Senator Kerry has proven himself unfit for the office he holds, let alone for any others he may have aspired to.

He deserves our contempt.

A little something on United for Peace and Justice....

Some of you may be curious about the `umbrella organization' behind the current anti-war protests. These people, their funders. leadership and history are highly illuminating.

United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ) is an anti-war `coalition' of more than 1,300 groups joined together "to protest the immoral and disastrous Iraq War and oppose our [American] government's policy of permanent warfare and empire-building." The coalition's Unity Statement denounces "the 'pre-emptive' wars of aggression waged by the Bush administration" in its "drive to expand U.S. control over other nations and strip us of our rights at home under the cover of fighting terrorism and spreading democracy."

Among other policies, the group favors unilateral nuclear disarmament for the United States. "The world," it's unity statement says, "is destined to find itself in a state of perpetual war so long as the United States maintains its bloated nuclear arsenal. Nuclear disarmament must become a core issue on the global peace movement's agenda."

UFPJ was officially born on October 25, 2002 in the Washington, DC offices of People For the American Way. It was specifically created as a front to camouflage the hard edge leftist radical face of the anti-war movement. Before UFPJ was created, all the large-scale peace demonstrations were held under the auspices of International ANSWER, an organization aligned with the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party; Global Exchange, headed by the longtime pro-Castro communist Medea Benjamin (who's also an officer of Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan's press flack); and Not In Our Name, a project organized by Ramsey Clark and fellow leaders of the Revolutionary Communist Party. All of the aforementioned groups are still part of the UFPJ coalition, and UFPJ shares their policy of hatred for the United States and for capitalism.

The Co-Chair and principal leader of UFPJ is Leslie Cagan, a founder member of the Committees of Correspondence, a front group that grew out of the American Communist Party. She's been a member of the Communist left since the 1960s, and has a particular jones for the communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro.

UFPJ goes far beyond simple anti-war rhetoric. It impugns America's "daily assaults and attacks on poor and working people, on women, people of color, lesbians/gays and other sexual minorities, the disabled, and so many others." It asserts that "the government treats all immigrants as potential terrorist threats until proven innocent, in violation of the Constitution," thereby "expanding the scope and depth of racial injustice within the U.S."

Of course, they aren't fans of Israel either. UFPJ has campaigned against Israel's construction of an anti-terrorist security fence, which it refers to as an illegal "apartheid wall". The International Solidarity Movement, which has shielded Palestinian terrorists in Israel and endorses violent `resistance' against Israel's civilians is also a member of the coalition. So is the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

Do a bit of googling on these folks and you get a very clear idea of who they are and what they believe.

Another rush to judgement?

Guilford College is a Quaker university in North Carolina, the kind of small colege that seldom makes the news - until now.

Investigations are still being made in what the University itself terms a `hate crime', where three `Palestinian' students were allegedly beaten by a group of football players in an incident that took place last Saturday.

The three `Palestinians',Faris Khader and Osama Sabbah and North Carolina State University student Omar Awartani allege that the players taunted them with racial slurs while assaulting them.

Authorities have charged Michael Bates, 19; Michael Robert Six, 20; and Christopher Barnette, 21, with misdemeanor assault and ethnic intimidation, according to court documents. They were released Monday on $2,000 bail.

The university promptly temporarily suspended these three players and two others and told them to move off campus, while this crime was investigated. The `Palestinians' were not suspended or subject to any discipline. Here's the first paragraph from a letter emailed on Sunday, by the Guilford College Director of Multicultural Education:

"By now, most of you have heard about the situation that occurred on Friday night between some football players and Faris Khader, Osama Sabbah, and Omar Awartini (a student from N.C. State). Faris, Osama, and Omar were defending themselves against students (and possibly perspective students) that were attacking them physically and simultaneously verbally with phrases like "sandnigga," "terrorist," etc. The incident was a hate crime."

All this, by the way, is going on while the College still maintains that it's `trying to sort out what happened' and `investigate the matter'!

Oddly enough, when talking to others, a slightly different picture of what happened is emerging. Seems that there are pictures of a vicious stabbing and belt whipping that was inflicted by Khader (an alleged victim) upon Michael Six, one of the players during the altercation, taken by campus security personnel.

According to Michael Six's parents, the Arabs struck first, and their son was assaulted, at which point his teammates joined in to defend him.

The football players claim that the `Palestinian' students should be charged with assault. They said that, after the `Palestinian' students had sworn out their warrants with the magistrate, the football players were denied the same opportunity.

Here's something from an anonymous GC student WGHP's website. Please excuse his spelling and grammar....

"As a Guilford College student athlete I have been appalled by the reaction to this incident by not only the student body but also the media. Most of the students that are so intent on screaming hate crime are extremely uninformed about the actual occurance of events that night. No, I did not witness the fight but I withhold judging or condemning the parties of either side until all accounts are fully investigated. It seems that even the news has not refrained from prematurally passing judgement. All of the articles and stories I have viewed on the television have been biased and from the most part over victimizing one party why already passing the other off as guilty. From the eyewitness accounts I have heard it was Osama who struck first, taking off his belt and hitting one of the football player. Osama himself has admitted this Also there were no brass knuckles involved in the fight, these so called brass knuckles were actually a watch. I am not saying that it is ok to beat anyone, I hate violence just much as anyone, but you also have to realize that mistakes were made on both sides. I know both of the parties that were involved. Faris and Osama are good guys, I like them a lot, and no doubt they did not deserve this, but as much as I like them they sometimes tend to look for fights. I also know one of the football players who has been arrested, and he is a good guy. He does not deserve to be slandered all across the news when he has not yet been convicted of anything. So get your story straight, stop being one sided, and stop trying to use this."

I bet CAIR and the MPAC will be all over this one. Stay tuned...

Have a Beaut Australia Day!!

All the best to my friends and fellow freedom fighters in Oz!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Weekend Monkey Sez: Enjoy yourselves this weekend..and if you can't be good, be careful!

Bye gang...see you in 24 or so!

Deadly Gaza shootout as the Pal turf wars continue

It's business as usual in the territorio del mafia known as the Palestinian Authority. Today's fun n' games left 14 dead, including a two year old boy. And even pro-Arab shills like the AP's Sarah El Deeb had to really work to try to put the blame on the evil Israelis and the West `for cutting off aid', even though the Israelis just gave Abbas $100 million and Abbas has yet to dip into that $1.4 billion Palestine Investment Fund, made up of money St. Arafat stole from all those gullible Western `humanitarian aid' dollars.

The gunfighting was mostly concentrated around the house of Mansour Shaleil, a local Fatah gang lord in the Jebaliya refugee camp just north of Gaza City.

Hamas gunmen surrounded the house early today, probably with the idea of taking Shaleil `for a ride' because of his alleged involvement in busting a cap and killing two Hamas gang members. In a typical show of bravery, the Hamas thugs surrounded the house and sat there for hours before finally working up the nerve to storm the house, which is when the shooting broke out between the Hamas boys and Shaleil and his Fatah pals.

Here's a money quote for you, from a spokesman for `moderate' Fatah, Maher Mekdad: "It looks like they forgot who the enemy is. They forgot the Israeli occupation."

Yep, it's always the Jooos, and don't you ever forget it.

Both sides were supposed to have a sitdown about divvying up the spoils in the Palestinian Authority, but suspended the so-called `unity talks' today because of the violence.

They're really the kind of folks that need a state of their own, aren't they?

The Beast continues to eat itself.

The `patriotic terrorists'

Writer Greg Gutfeld (at the Huffington Post, no less) has, I believe, coined a new phrase.. the Patriotic Terrorist .....I imagine that Greg is HufPo's token `rightwinger'.

"What is a patriotic terrorist?

It is an American who claims to love his or her country while enjoying the enemy's success against said country. It is a person who gets deeply offended if you question their patriotism, while also appearing to share the same ideals of the more spirited folk who like to blow up innocent people.

Patriotic terrorists love America with so much intensity that it appears to the untrained eye that they hate it. But it's actually the most powerful form of "tough love" known to man, woman and Rosie O'Donnell. Patriotic terrorists love America so much that they realize it needs an intervention - and real terror is the only way to enable that intervention. In fact, to keep a mammoth, arrogant superpower like America in check, terrorism is the only thing we've got. Noam Chomsky knew this from the start, making him a patriotic terrorist of the highest order.

{..}The only difference between a patriotic terrorist and a real one? Real terrorists are simply patriotic terrorists who've taken the extra step - choosing to actually die for their beliefs - rather than simply talking about them at Spago. If Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Michael Moore, and their ilk had real cojones, they'd all be wearing cute black vests - but stuffed with more than dog-eared copies of Deterring Democracy.

To add to the fun, read the comments to Greg's post from the leftist detritus that customarily patronizes the Huffington Post! Too funny...

Watcher's Council results, 1/26/07

The Council has spoken! A complete list of results can be found at the site of our fearless leader, Watcher of Weasels

COUNCIL NEWS: Unfortunately, Major Andrew Olmstead has had to vacate his seat. As he dryly put it, `Things must be worst in Iraq than I thought..they're calling me up for active duty.' Major Olmstead will be embedded with the Iraqi army, helping to train them as part of the White House's new Iraq strategy, and I'm sure he carries all our best wishes for a successful mission and a safe return. His contributions to the Council will be missed.

His departure means that there is another seat up for grabs.if you're interested, please go here for updated rules and instructions on applying for the vacancy.

This week's winner is AMERICAN FUTURE - On the Possibility of an Embargo of Iranian Oil Congrats, marc!

In second place was The COLOSSUS OF RHODEY: Teacher merit pay Hube's examination of the idea of gearing teacher pay to test scores. A fine essay on an interesting idea that merits your consideration.

For non-Council, the winner was INDCJournal: "Because the language they use is killing:"

In second place was my own nominee,Michael J. Totten: The Blitzing of Haret Hreik

Hearty Kudos to all the winners!

Bush Administration finally starting to get a clue on Iran

Hey, it only took four years for the administration to say that US troops are now authorized to kill or capture Iranian Operatives in Iraq.

Up until now, the official policy in those infamous `Rules of Enagagement' was to release them back over the Iranian border, believe it or not.

Better late than never, I suppose.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Carter spews his lies, and Brandeis aids and abets him

Ex-president, Jew hater and Arab shill Jimmy Carter did his little dog and pony show at Brandeis University this week...and the self hating Jews at Brandeis made sure it was as painless as possible for him.

When Jimmy Carter appeared on Tuesday night, Allan Dershowitz, who had planned to show up and ask a few questions was barred from entering the hall. Not only that, but Carter limited himself to 15 `pre-screened' questions, vetted by the committee that invited him.

Needless to say,Carter was able to dissimulate his pro-Arab, anti-Israel falsehoods without anyone challenging him.

Now, I understand this senile, flatulent Jew hater's
motivation...he's being well paid by the Arabs to spread this manure around.

What I don't understand is the conduct of Brandeis University, an institution with an enrollment that's at least half Jewish, and one, presumably, with a commitment to academic freedom.

Is that why Allan Dershowitz was barred, and award winning film director Jonathan Demme was forbidden from filming the event? To promote academic freedom?

I don't agree with much of what Harvard professor Dershowitz has to say, but he does have Carter's number:

"You can always tell when a public figure has written an indefensible book: when he refuses to debate it in the court of public opinion. And you can always tell when he's a hypocrite to boot: when he says he wrote a book in order to stimulate a debate and then he refuses to participate in any such debate."

The same charges of hypocrisy and cowardice can be leveled not only at Carter, but at the people at Brandeis who insisted on hosting him on his terms, and stifling any meaningful critique of his views.


A major revelation on Iran's role in Iraq is coming...

US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and State department spokesman Sean McCormack went public with statements that the US would soon detail Iran’s hand in targetting our troops and inflaming the situation in Iraq.

Much of this information is coming from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards al Quds Brigade agents captured during the US raid of the Iranian “liaison center” in Irbil. The prisoners are still in US custody.

The biggest fish caught in the raid was Iranian colonel Fars Hassami,the Revolutionary Guards al Quds Brigade’s number three man, two down from the Brigades commander, General Qassem Sulemaini. The al Quds Brigade is a particularly nasty outfit, and members have been caught serving with Hezbollah in Lebanon and with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The prisoners were interrogated thoroughly, along with an examination of confiscated files in their offices and their computers.

Col. Hassami was in charge of Iranian operations in northern and central Iraq, including supplying intel, arms, explosives and training to Iraq’s Shiite militias, including Moqtada Sadr’s Medhi Army and the Badr force.Hassami was in charge of keeping the carnage going in some of the most violent areas in Iraq, including Tal Afar, Mosul, Haditha, Kirkuk, Samarra, the Banji refinery town, Tikrit, Ramadi, Falluja and Baquba.

He was also in charge of recruiting for al Sadr's Mahdi Army, passing out as much as $1500 in cash to each volunteer.

The raid at Irbil also uncovered a stockpile of Iranian weapons, including over 40 tons of explosives, shoulder-borne `stinger' type anti-air missiles (for use against our helicopters), anti-tank missiles, hundreds of automatic rifles and a pile of ordnance made in Iran.

What's more, the Iranians were good record keepers. They had inventories of the weapons and ammo supplied to the Mahdi Army in Baghdad and elsewhere by Iran in the last few months on their computer hard drives. They also found maps showing the locations of anti-air missile positions for shooting down American helicopters.

Stay tuned....

Vice President Cheney slaps CNN's Wolf Blitzer all over the studio

I would have had a tough time believing that CNN's Wolf Blitzer could be more inane or contemptible, but he definitely proved me wrong.

Yesterday, he interviewed Vice president Dick Cheney and ended up getting his head handed to him..especially when he brought Cheney's lesbian daughter into the mix from out of nowhere.

You can read CNN's transcript in two parts, here and here, but I'll give you some of the juiciest bits:

BLITZER: The criticism is that took your eye off the ball by going into Iraq and, in effect, reducing the focus of attention on al Qaeda and bin Laden.

CHENEY: It's just not true. I've heard that charge. It's simply not true, Wolf. The fact of the matter is we can do more than one thing at a time. And we have. And we've been very successful with going after al Qaeda. They're still out there. They're still a formidable force. But they're not nearly as formidable as they once were, in terms of numbers and so forth.

We have...

BLITZER: There's some experts who think they're...

CHENEY: We have...

BLITZER: ... even a greater threat today.

CHENEY: We have successfully defended the country for over five years against any further attacks. They've tried, we know, repeatedly. The president talked about it last night in his speech. We know they tried last summer to capture airliners coming out of the U.K. and to blow them up over the United States or over the Atlantic. There have been numerous attacks have been disrupted.

It's been a remarkable performance by the U.S. military and by our intelligence service and everything else.

If you had asked, shortly after 9/11, what the odds were that we could go better than five years without another attack on the homeland, I don't think anybody would have been willing to take that bet.

The fact is we've been enormously successful in that regard. We still, obviously, want to get Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri. But we've had great success against al Qaeda.

(notice how this worm constantly interrupts and tries to talk over Cheney?)

BLITZER: How much responsibility do you have, though -- do you and the administration -- for this potential scenario?

CHENEY: Well, you know, this is the argument that there wouldn't be any problem if we hadn't gone into Iraq.


BLITZER: Well, Saddam Hussein would still be in power. CHENEY: Saddam Hussein would still be in power. He would, at this point, be engaged in a nuclear arms race with Ahmadinejad, his blood enemy next door in Iran.

BLITZER: But he was being contained...

CHENEY: He was...

BLITZER: ... as you well know...

CHENEY: He was not being contained...

BLITZER: ... by the no-fly zones in the north...

CHENEY: He was not being contained.

BLITZER: ... and in the south.

CHENEY: Wolf, the entire sanctions regime had been undermined by Saddam Hussein. He had...

BLITZER: But he didn't have stockpiles of weapons of...

CHENEY: He had corrupted the entire effort to try to keep him contained. He was bribing senior officials of other governments. The Oil For Food Program had been totally undermined. And he had, in fact, produced and used weapons of mass destruction previously, and he retained the capability to produce that kind of stuff in the future.

You can go back...

BLITZER: But that was in the '80s.

(gee, Blitzer..the UN's oil for food scandal wasn't even revealed until after we invaded and captured the documents that revealed it!)

CHENEY: You can go back and argue the whole thing all over again, Wolf. But what we did in Iraq in taking down Saddam Hussein was exactly the right thing to do. The world is much safer today because of it. There have been three national elections in Iraq. There's a democracy established there, a constitution, a new democratically elected government. Saddam has been brought to justice and executed. His sons are dead. His government is gone. And the world is better off for it.

You can argue about that all you want. That's history.


Blitzer: And it's not just Jim Webb; it's some of your good Republican friends in the Senate and the House are now seriously questioning your credibility, because of the blunders, of the failures. Gordon Smith...

Cheney: Wolf...

Blitzer: Gordon Smith...

Cheney: Wolf, I simply don't accept the premise of your question. I just think it's hogwash.

Blitzer: That what? There were no blunders? The president himself says...

Cheney: Remember me -- remember with me what happened in Afghanistan. The United States was actively involved in Afghanistan in the '80s, supported the effort against the Soviets. The mujahideen prevailed and everybody walked away. And in Afghanistan, within relatively short order, the Taliban came to power.

They created a safe haven for al-Qaeda. Training camps were established, where some 20,000 terrorists trained in the late '90s. And out of that, out of Afghanistan -- because we walked away and ignored it -- we had the attack on the USS Cole, the attack on the embassies in East Africa and 9/11, where the people trained and planned in Afghanistan for that attack and killed 3,000 Americans. That is what happens when we walk away from a situation like that in the Middle East.

(However much I disagree with the way the Administration has handled Iraq, what the Vice President is saying here is the simple truth. And our decision to go in there was the right one.)

(And here's where it gets particularly slimy, as Blitzer tries to slime Cheney over his gay daughter in the closing seconds...)

Blitzer: We're out of time, but a couple of issues I want to raise with you. Your daughter, Mary. She's pregnant. All of us are happy. She's going to have a baby, you're going to have another grandchild. Some of the -- some critics, though, are suggesting -- for example, a statement from someone representing Focus on the Family, "Mary Cheney's pregnancy raises the question of what's best for children. Just because it's possible to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother and father doesn't mean it's best for the child." Do you want to respond to that?

(At this point, Cheney glares at Blitzer until Wolfie begins to visibly melt..)

Cheney: No, I don't.

Blitzer: obviously, a good daughter...

Cheney: I'm delighted -- I'm delighted I'm about to have a sixth grandchild, Wolf. And obviously I think the world of both my daughters and all of my grandchildren. And I think, frankly, you're out of line with that question.

Blitzer: I think all of us appreciate...

Cheney: I think you're out of line.

(At this point, Cheney would probably have challenged Wolfie to a duel in a previous age)

Blitzer: ... your daughters. No, we like your daughters. Believe me, I'm very, very sympathetic to Liz and to Mary. I like them both. That was just a question that's come up, and it's a responsible, fair question.

Cheney: I just fundamentally disagree with you.

Blitzer: I want to congratulate you on having another grandchild.

(Sure you do, Blitzer.....sure you do.)

The above is an example of what happens when a man interacts with a rat.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bush on the ropes....and the State of the Union

Back when I was a lot younger and crazier, I did some boxing. Not much, since I quickly picked up on the fact that hitting people and having them hit you back was not my preferred way of making a living, but enough to understand the basics and to realize that there's a certain detached mentality that's essential to beating your opponent..and kindness and mercy are usually not part of that equation.

Watching the president deliver his State of the Union address last night reminded me a little bit of those days. It's maybe the sixth round, you're pumped up and you've got your mo' going, you know you've really hurt your opponent bad and can see he's out of gas and just trying to last through the last minute or so before the bell rings. For most boxers, seeing an opponent in that condition effects them like blood in the water does a shark.

From the start of Bush's speech, (a little bit smarmy of brownnosing directed towards Speaker Nancy Pelosi) to the rather choppy ending, the president reminded me of nothing so much as that out of gas boxer trying to last out the round. And I'm sure it affected his opposition appropriately.

There was nothing really new in this speech. To summarize, the president went out of his way to appear conciliatory and address issues dear to a liberal's heart. He mouthed some platitudes on alternative energy just like he did last year, talked a little about the budget and cutting spending, put forth a health care proposition, more or less told the country that we have an amnesty bill for illegal aliens to look forward to, begged for some time for his new Iraq plan to work and mouthed the usual stuff about Arab democracy.

He still hasn't learned that given the ballot, these people will vote for Islam and tribalism every time, just as they have in Iraq, `Palestine' and Lebanon.

Some of the phrases appear to have been grafted or slightly adapted from earlier speeches.

If the president thought that his words were going to inspire the country or win him any points with the Democrats, he was sadly mistaken.

Senator Jim Webb's rebuttal
was short, incisive and to the point on that, and to be perfectly honest, I found very little to quarrel with in what Senator Webb had to say.

The Senate foreign relations committee hit him with the other hand today, voting for a non-binding resolution that's basically a vote of no confidence his plans in Iraq.

And in terms of his poll ratings,the president actually dropped a couple of points. And those ratings were not an expression of partisan ship. In polls I saw that addressed the question, a clear majority had little confidence in the democratic leadership in congress either.

In short the country is ripe for some real leadership...and we're not getting it.

The dissatisfaction with this president and his low ratings aren't coming from the Left. They've hated him with a passion since the 2000 election. The disdain for the president - and his low poll numbers - are coming from the center and from conservatives.

Bush's betrayal of the people that supported him goes back to the out of control budget, the Dubai Ports deal, the sieve on our borders, the refusal to act to curb the Saudi importing of jihad here at home, and a dozen other issues he's failed to address. Not least of which, in my opinion, is a justifiable impatience with the fiasco he's engendered in Iraq.

Full disclosure: I not only voted for this president, I worked on his campaign. And with all my criticism of him, I want nothing more than for him to succeed, even now, with everything that's happened. The issues involved are too important.

Kerry bows out.....can America survive?

Senator Kerry has apparently bowed out of the 2008 presidential run. Woe is us!!

As Weekend Monkey noted, we've lost the opportunity to have a mac Daddy Prez wit' da killah threadz....

Watcher's Council nominations, 1/24/07

Every week, the Watcher's Council nominate two posts each, one from the Council members and one from outside for consideration by the whole Council. The complete list of this week's Council nominations can be found at the site of our fearless leader, Watcher of Weasels

OK, here's this week's lineup:

1. J O S H U A P U N D I T: `Moderate' Abbas: "Aim the guns against Israel!" One of the most depressing aspects of the Arab Israeli conflict is that you can read articles and books about the conflict dating 20 years ago - and very little has changed except the names of the players.

Here we have a case in point. Yet again, the US, the EU and a weak Israeli government have identified a `moderate' Fatah leader and given him arms and money with the idea that he's going to control all those extremists. And once again, this `moderate' leader has terrorists on his payroll, and is saying one thing to Israel and the West in English and something quite different in Arabic to the home crowd.

There is a road to the solution of the Arab Israeli conflict, believe it or not..but it doesn't rely on establishing a second Arab Palestinian state. The opposite, in fact.

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is one definition of insanity.

2. Done With Mirrors: Iraqi Refugees Callimachus focuses on the plight of Iraqi refugees, and suggest that the US should make special provision to import them into the US. Just what we need...more potential jihadis.

A well written piece that I disagree with.

3. Soccer Dad: Too much munich?Soccer Dad takes on some idiots who have second thoughts about why people were so quick to lambaste Stephen Spielberg's "Munich." As you know, I devoted a bit of space at the time to this warm and fuzzy portrait of Palestinian murderers. The original screenplay was deemed too `pro-Israeli', so a self-hating leftist Jew by the name of Tony Kushner was hired to make it more `politicaly correct.

Here's the real skinny on people like Spielberg - nobody wants to offend a fat wallet. "Munich" was a despicable film that attempted to `humanize' some despicable people who committed murder on innocent people. End of story

4. Right Wing Nut House: D’SOUZA AND THE ILLIBERALITY OF CRITICISMHere, Rick writes about author Dinesh D'Souza's latest work, in which D'Souza theorizes that the Left in America, with its embrace of certain social policies, was responsible for the attack on 9/11. Unlike Rick, I generally like D'Souza's writing, but I agree with Rick that he's wrong about this one.

The jihadis hate all non-believers, Liberal or Conservative, because we are part of dar harb (literally, the place of war, the part of the world not under Islamic domination) and need to conquered. This was inevitable as soon as we liberated them from the Ottoman Turks and dug the oil out of the ground for them.

5. The Sundries Shack: Obama, the apostate Here, Jimmie Bise examines the `Insight' story on Barak Hussein Obama growing up Muslim and being educated in a madrassah. Frankly, as much as Barak Hussein Obama might protest that he's no longer a Muslim, I prefer to err on the side of caution an dsay `no thanks'.

6.Rhymes With Right:Opposing Obama Isn't About RaceHere, Greg likewise takes on Obamarama and correctly states that his skin color is the least of reasons to not support his run for the White House.

7. The Glittering Eye: Taking responsibility Here, Dave looks at the limits on Congressional power to stymie the executive branch.

8. AMERICAN FUTURE - On the Possibility of an Embargo of Iranian Oil Marc's piece this week seems to indicate that he's moving in the direction I suggested last week in J O S H U A P U N D I T: Operation Mullah Stomp: The military option on Iran. Of course, any embargo will need to include significant military action, as I wrote in the piece.

9. The COLOSSUS OF RHODEY: Teacher merit pay Hube discusses an idea making the rounds in his home state...partially evaluating teacher pay by test scores.

I like it, but the real way to improve education, IMO, is to open the education biz to competition.and that means school choice and vouchers, something many people who voted for the self-described `education president' would have expected him to do in his first term.

10. The Education Wonks: No Spanky-Spanky In The Golden State? Yep..they're proposing legislation in California to outlaw spanking of any child under three. Enough said.

11. Eternity Road: A mandatory disaggregation Francis has a great post this week. He examines the oft spoken caveat that not all Muslims are terrorists or supporters of terrorism and the all important BUT..that one could also say that the Holocaust, the Inquisition, slavery in the South and a lot of other evil was not supported by the entire group either,and voice a truth that was generally useless in terms of practicality or strategy.

Islam indeed has violent hostility towards other faiths ( and more importantly, domination of other faiths) as a major part of its creed, no matter what its apologists might tell you.

Francis advises his fellow Americans that forewarned is forearmed in terms of our attitudes toward Muslims here in America, and a major degree of caution is mandated. I agree with him.

That's this week's lineup..enjoy!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A trancript of Bush's SOTU speech:

As written. I'll comment later:

Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

This rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour - when decisions are hard and courage is tested. We enter the year 2007 with large endeavors underway, and others that are ours to begin. In all of this, much is asked of us. We must have the will to face difficult challenges and determined enemies - and the wisdom to face them together.

Some in this Chamber are new to the House and Senate - and I congratulate the Democratic majority. Congress has changed, but our responsibilities have not. Each of us is guided by our own convictions - and to these we must stay faithful. Yet we are all held to the same standards, and called to serve the same good purposes: To extend this Nation's prosperity ... to spend the people's money wisely ... to solve problems, not leave them to future generations ... to guard America against all evil, and to keep faith with those we have sent forth to defend us.

We are not the first to come here with government divided and uncertainty in the air. Like many before us, we can work through our differences, and achieve big things for the American people. Our citizens don't much care which side of the aisle we sit on - as long as we are willing to cross that aisle when there is work to be done. Our job is to make life better for our fellow Americans, and help them to build a future of hope and opportunity - and this is the business before us tonight.

A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy - and that is what we have. We are now in the 41st month of uninterrupted job growth - in a recovery that has created 7.2 million new jobs ... so far. Unemployment is low, inflation is low, and wages are rising. This economy is on the move - and our job is to keep it that way, not with more government but with more enterprise.

Next week, I will deliver a full report on the state of our economy. Tonight, I want to discuss three economic reforms that deserve to be priorities for this Congress.

First, we must balance the federal budget. We can do so without raising taxes. What we need to do is impose spending discipline in Washington, D.C. We set a goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009 - and met that goal three years ahead of schedule. Now let us take the next step. In the coming weeks, I will submit a budget that eliminates the federal deficit within the next five years. I ask you to make the same commitment. Together, we can restrain the spending appetite of the federal government, and balance the federal budget.

Next, there is the matter of earmarks. These special interest items are often slipped into bills at the last hour - when not even C-SPAN is watching. In 2005 alone, the number of earmarks grew to over 13,000 and totaled nearly $18 billion. Even worse, over 90 percent of earmarks never make it to the floor of the House and Senate - they are dropped into Committee reports that are not even part of the bill that arrives on my desk. You did not vote them into law. I did not sign them into law. Yet they are treated as if they have the force of law. The time has come to end this practice. So let us work together to reform the budget process ... expose every earmark to the light of day and to a vote in Congress ... and cut the number and cost of earmarks at least in half by the end of this session.

Finally, to keep this economy strong we must take on the challenge of entitlements. Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are commitments of conscience - and so it is our duty to keep them permanently sound. Yet we are failing in that duty - and this failure will one day leave our children with three bad options: huge tax increases, huge deficits, or huge and immediate cuts in benefits. Everyone in this Chamber knows this to be true - yet somehow we have not found it in ourselves to act. So let us work together and do it now. With enough good sense and good will, you and I can fix Medicare and Medicaid - and save Social Security.

Spreading opportunity and hope in America also requires public schools that give children the knowledge and character they need in life. Five years ago, we rose above partisan differences to pass the No Child Left Behind Act - preserving local control, raising standards in public schools, and holding those schools accountable for results. And because we acted, students are performing better in reading and math, and minority students are closing the achievement gap.

Now the task is to build on this success, without watering down standards ... without taking control from local communities ... and without backsliding and calling it reform. We can lift student achievement even higher by giving local leaders flexibility to turn around failing schools ... and by giving families with children stuck in failing schools the right to choose something better. We must increase funds for students who struggle - and make sure these children get the special help they need. And we can make sure our children are prepared for the jobs of the future, and our country is more competitive, by strengthening math and science skills. The No Child Left Behind Act has worked for America's children - and I ask Congress to reauthorize this good law.

A future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available healthcare. When it comes to healthcare, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled, and poor children. We will meet those responsibilities. For all other Americans, private health insurance is the best way to meet their needs. But many Americans cannot afford a health insurance policy.

Tonight, I propose two new initiatives to help more Americans afford their own insurance. First, I propose a standard tax deduction for health insurance that will be like the standard tax deduction for dependents. Families with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $15,000 of their income. Single Americans with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $7,500 of their income. With this reform, more than 100 million men, women, and children who are now covered by employer-provided insurance will benefit from lower tax bills.

At the same time, this reform will level the playing field for those who do not get health insurance through their job. For Americans who now purchase health insurance on their own, my proposal would mean a substantial tax savings - $4,500 for a family of four making $60,000 a year. And for the millions of other Americans who have no health insurance at all, this deduction would help put a basic private health insurance plan within their reach. Changing the tax code is a vital and necessary step to making healthcare affordable for more Americans.

My second proposal is to help the states that are coming up with innovative ways to cover the uninsured. States that make basic private health insurance available to all their citizens should receive federal funds to help them provide this coverage to the poor and the sick. I have asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services to work with Congress to take existing federal funds and use them to create "Affordable Choices" grants. These grants would give our Nation's governors more money and more flexibility to get private health insurance to those most in need.

There are many other ways that Congress can help. We need to expand Health Savings Accounts ... help small businesses through Association Health Plans ... reduce costs and medical errors with better information technology ... encourage price transparency ... and protect good doctors from junk lawsuits by passing medical liability reform. And in all we do, we must remember that the best healthcare decisions are made not by government and insurance companies, but by patients and their doctors.

Extending hope and opportunity in our country requires an immigration system worthy of America - with laws that are fair and borders that are secure. When laws and borders are routinely violated, this harms the interests of our country. To secure our border, we are doubling the size of the Border Patrol - and funding new infrastructure and technology.

Yet even with all these steps, we cannot fully secure the border unless we take pressure off the border - and that requires a temporary worker program. We should establish a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis. As a result, they won't have to try to sneak in - and that will leave border agents free to chase down drug smugglers, and criminals, and terrorists. We will enforce our immigration laws at the worksite, and give employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers - so there is no excuse left for violating the law. We need to uphold the great tradition of the melting pot that welcomes and assimilates new arrivals. And we need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country - without animosity and without amnesty.

Convictions run deep in this Capitol when it comes to immigration. Let us have a serious, civil, and conclusive debate - so that you can pass, and I can sign, comprehensive immigration reform into law.

Extending hope and opportunity depends on a stable supply of energy that keeps America's economy running and America's environment clean. For too long our Nation has been dependent on foreign oil. And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists - who could cause huge disruptions of oil shipments ... raise the price of oil ... and do great harm to our economy.

It is in our vital interest to diversify America's energy supply - and the way forward is through technology. We must continue changing the way America generates electric power - by even greater use of clean coal technology ... solar and wind energy ... and clean, safe nuclear power. We need to press on with battery research for plug-in and hybrid vehicles, and expand the use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel. We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol - using everything from wood chips, to grasses, to agricultural wastes.

We have made a lot of progress, thanks to good policies in Washington and the strong response of the market. Now even more dramatic advances are within reach. Tonight, I ask Congress to join me in pursuing a great goal. Let us build on the work we have done and reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent in the next ten years - thereby cutting our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now import from the Middle East.

To reach this goal, we must increase the supply of alternative fuels, by setting a mandatory Fuels Standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017 - this is nearly five times the current target. At the same time, we need to reform and modernize fuel economy standards for cars the way we did for light trucks - and conserve up to eight and a half billion more gallons of gasoline by 2017.

Achieving these ambitious goals will dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but will not eliminate it. So as we continue to diversify our fuel supply, we must also step up domestic oil production in environmentally sensitive ways. And to further protect America against severe disruptions to our oil supply, I ask Congress to double the current capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. These technologies will help us become better stewards of the environment - and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change.

A future of hope and opportunity requires a fair, impartial system of justice. The lives of citizens across our Nation are affected by the outcome of cases pending in our federal courts. And we have a shared obligation to ensure that the federal courts have enough judges to hear those cases and deliver timely rulings. As President, I have a duty to nominate qualified men and women to vacancies on the federal bench. And the United States Senate has a duty as well - to give those nominees a fair hearing, and a prompt up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.

For all of us in this room, there is no higher responsibility than to protect the people of this country from danger. Five years have come and gone since we saw the scenes and felt the sorrow that terrorists can cause. We have had time to take stock of our situation. We have added many critical protections to guard the homeland. We know with certainty that the horrors of that September morning were just a glimpse of what the terrorists intend for us - unless we stop them.

With the distance of time, we find ourselves debating the causes of conflict and the course we have followed. Such debates are essential when a great democracy faces great questions. Yet one question has surely been settled - that to win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy.

From the start, America and our allies have protected our people by staying on the offense. The enemy knows that the days of comfortable sanctuary, easy movement, steady financing, and free flowing communications are long over. For the terrorists, life since Nine-Eleven has never been the same.

Our success in this war is often measured by the things that did not happen. We cannot know the full extent of the attacks that we and our allies have prevented - but here is some of what we do know: We stopped an al Qaeda plot to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building on the West Coast. We broke up a Southeast Asian terrorist cell grooming operatives for attacks inside the United States. We uncovered an al Qaeda cell developing anthrax to be used in attacks against America. And just last August, British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up passenger planes bound for America over the Atlantic Ocean. For each life saved, we owe a debt of gratitude to the brave public servants who devote their lives to finding the terrorists and stopping them.

Every success against the terrorists is a reminder of the shoreless ambitions of this enemy. The evil that inspired and rejoiced in Nine-Eleven is still at work in the world. And so long as that is the case, America is still a Nation at war.

In the minds of the terrorists, this war began well before September 11th, and will not end until their radical vision is fulfilled. And these past five years have given us a much clearer view of the nature of this enemy. Al Qaeda and its followers are Sunni extremists, possessed by hatred and commanded by a harsh and narrow ideology. Take almost any principle of civilization, and their goal is the opposite. They preach with threats ... instruct with bullets and bombs ... and promise paradise for the murder of the innocent.

Our enemies are quite explicit about their intentions. They want to overthrow moderate governments, and establish safe havens from which to plan and carry out new attacks on our country. By killing and terrorizing Americans, they want to force our country to retreat from the world and abandon the cause of liberty. They would then be free to impose their will and spread their totalitarian ideology. Listen to this warning from the late terrorist Zarqawi: "We will sacrifice our blood and bodies to put an end to your dreams, and what is coming is even worse." And Osama bin Laden declared: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."

These men are not given to idle words, and they are just one camp in the Islamist radical movement. In recent times, it has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists who are just as hostile to America, and are also determined to dominate the Middle East. Many are known to take direction from the regime in Iran, which is funding and arming terrorists like Hezbollah - a group second only to al Qaeda in the American lives it has taken.

The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat. But whatever slogans they chant, when they slaughter the innocent, they have the same wicked purposes. They want to kill Americans ... kill democracy in the Middle East ... and gain the weapons to kill on an even more horrific scale.

In the sixth year since our Nation was attacked, I wish I could report to you that the dangers have ended. They have not. And so it remains the policy of this government to use every lawful and proper tool of intelligence, diplomacy, law enforcement, and military action to do our duty, to find these enemies, and to protect the American people.

This war is more than a clash of arms - it is a decisive ideological struggle, and the security of our Nation is in the balance. To prevail, we must remove the conditions that inspire blind hatred, and drove 19 men to get onto airplanes and come to kill us. What every terrorist fears most is human freedom - societies where men and women make their own choices, answer to their own conscience, and live by their hopes instead of their resentments. Free people are not drawn to violent and malignant ideologies - and most will choose a better way when they are given a chance. So we advance our own security interests by helping moderates, reformers, and brave voices for democracy. The great question of our day is whether America will help men and women in the Middle East to build free societies and share in the rights of all humanity. And I say, for the sake of our own security . . . we must.

In the last two years, we have seen the desire for liberty in the broader Middle East - and we have been sobered by the enemy's fierce reaction. In 2005, the world watched as the citizens of Lebanon raised the banner of the Cedar Revolution ... drove out the Syrian occupiers ... and chose new leaders in free elections. In 2005, the people of Afghanistan defied the terrorists and elected a democratic legislature. And in 2005, the Iraqi people held three national elections - choosing a transitional government ... adopting the most progressive, democratic constitution in the Arab world ... and then electing a government under that constitution. Despite endless threats from the killers in their midst, nearly 12 million Iraqi citizens came out to vote in a show of hope and solidarity we should never forget.

A thinking enemy watched all of these scenes, adjusted their tactics, and in 2006 they struck back. In Lebanon, assassins took the life of Pierre Gemayel, a prominent participant in the Cedar Revolution. And Hezbollah terrorists, with support from Syria and Iran, sowed conflict in the region and are seeking to undermine Lebanon's legitimately elected government. In Afghanistan, Taliban and al Qaeda fighters tried to regain power by regrouping and engaging Afghan and NATO forces. In Iraq, al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists blew up one of the most sacred places in Shia Islam - the Golden Mosque of Samarra. This atrocity, directed at a Muslim house of prayer, was designed to provoke retaliation from Iraqi Shia - and it succeeded. Radical Shia elements, some of whom receive support from Iran, formed death squads. The result was a tragic escalation of sectarian rage and reprisal that continues to this day.

This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we are in. Every one of us wishes that this war were over and won. Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk. Ladies and gentlemen: On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle. So let us find our resolve, and turn events toward victory.

We are carrying out a new strategy in Iraq - a plan that demands more from Iraq's elected government, and gives our forces in Iraq the reinforcements they need to complete their mission. Our goal is a democratic Iraq that upholds the rule of law, respects the rights of its people, provides them security, and is an ally in the war on terror.

In order to make progress toward this goal, the Iraqi government must stop the sectarian violence in its capital. But the Iraqis are not yet ready to do this on their own. So we are deploying reinforcements of more than 20,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Iraq. The vast majority will go to Baghdad, where they will help Iraqi forces to clear and secure neighborhoods, and serve as advisers embedded in Iraqi Army units. With Iraqis in the lead, our forces will help secure the city by chasing down terrorists, insurgents, and roaming death squads. And in Anbar province - where al Qaeda terrorists have gathered and local forces have begun showing a willingness to fight them - we are sending an additional 4,000 United States Marines, with orders to find the terrorists and clear them out. We did not drive al Qaeda out of their safe haven in Afghanistan only to let them set up a new safe haven in a free Iraq.

The people of Iraq want to live in peace, and now is the time for their government to act. Iraq's leaders know that our commitment is not open ended. They have promised to deploy more of their own troops to secure Baghdad - and they must do so. They have pledged that they will confront violent radicals of any faction or political party. They need to follow through, and lift needless restrictions on Iraqi and Coalition forces, so these troops can achieve their mission of bringing security to all of the people of Baghdad. Iraq's leaders have committed themselves to a series of benchmarks to achieve reconciliation - to share oil revenues among all of Iraq's citizens ... to put the wealth of Iraq into the rebuilding of Iraq ... to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's civic life ... to hold local elections ... and to take responsibility for security in every Iraqi province. But for all of this to happen, Baghdad must be secured. And our plan will help the Iraqi government take back its capital and make good on its commitments.

My fellow citizens, our military commanders and I have carefully weighed the options. We discussed every possible approach. In the end, I chose this course of action because it provides the best chance of success. Many in this chamber understand that America must not fail in Iraq - because you understand that the consequences of failure would be grievous and far reaching.

If American forces step back before Baghdad is secure, the Iraqi government would be overrun by extremists on all sides. We could expect an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by al Qaeda and supporters of the old regime. A contagion of violence could spill out across the country - and in time the entire region could be drawn into the conflict.

For America, this is a nightmare scenario. For the enemy, this is the objective. Chaos is their greatest ally in this struggle. And out of chaos in Iraq, would emerge an emboldened enemy with new safe havens... new recruits ... new resources ... and an even greater determination to harm America. To allow this to happen would be to ignore the lessons of September 11th and invite tragedy. And ladies and gentlemen, nothing is more important at this moment in our history than for America to succeed in the Middle East ... to succeed in Iraq ... and to spare the American people from this danger.

This is where matters stand tonight, in the here and now. I have spoken with many of you in person. I respect you and the arguments you have made. We went into this largely united - in our assumptions, and in our convictions. And whatever you voted for, you did not vote for failure. Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq - and I ask you to give it a chance to work. And I ask you to support our troops in the field - and those on their way.

The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others. That is why it is important to work together so our Nation can see this great effort through. Both parties and both branches should work in close consultation. And this is why I propose to establish a special advisory council on the war on terror, made up of leaders in Congress from both political parties. We will share ideas for how to position America to meet every challenge that confronts us. And we will show our enemies abroad that we are united in the goal of victory.

One of the first steps we can take together is to add to the ranks of our military - so that the American Armed Forces are ready for all the challenges ahead. Tonight I ask the Congress to authorize an increase in the size of our active Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 in the next five years. A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. And it would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time.

Americans can have confidence in the outcome of this struggle - because we are not in this struggle alone. We have a diplomatic strategy that is rallying the world to join in the fight against extremism. In Iraq, multinational forces are operating under a mandate from the United Nations - and we are working with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Gulf States to increase support for Iraq's government. The United Nations has imposed sanctions on Iran, and made it clear that the world will not allow the regime in Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons. With the other members of the Quartet - the UN, the European Union, and Russia - we are pursuing diplomacy to help bring peace to the Holy Land, and pursuing the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security. In Afghanistan, NATO has taken the lead in turning back the Taliban and al Qaeda offensive - the first time the Alliance has deployed forces outside the North Atlantic area. Together with our partners in China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea, we are pursuing intensive diplomacy to achieve a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. And we will continue to speak out for the cause of freedom in places like Cuba, Belarus, and Burma - and continue to awaken the conscience of the world to save the people of Darfur.

American foreign policy is more than a matter of war and diplomacy. Our work in the world is also based on a timeless truth: To whom much is given, much is required. We hear the call to take on the challenges of hunger, poverty, and disease - and that is precisely what America is doing. We must continue to fight HIV/AIDS, especially on the continent of Africa - and because you funded our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the number of people receiving life-saving drugs has grown from 50,000 to more than 800,000 in three short years. I ask you to continue funding our efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. I ask you to provide $1.2 billion over five years so we can combat malaria in 15 African countries. I ask that you fund the Millennium Challenge Account, so that American aid reaches the people who need it, in nations where democracy is on the rise and corruption is in retreat. And let us continue to support the expanded trade and debt relief that are the best hope for lifting lives and eliminating poverty.

When America serves others in this way, we show the strength and generosity of our country. These deeds reflect the character of our people. The greatest strength we have is the heroic kindness, courage, and self sacrifice of the American people. You see this spirit often if you know where to look - and tonight we need only look above to the gallery.

Dikembe Mutombo grew up in Africa, amid great poverty and disease. He came to Georgetown University on a scholarship to study medicine - but Coach John Thompson got a look at Dikembe and had a different idea. Dikembe became a star in the NBA, and a citizen of the United States. But he never forgot the land of his birth - or the duty to share his blessings with others. He has built a brand new hospital in his hometown. A friend has said of this good hearted man: "Mutombo believes that God has given him this opportunity to do great things." And we are proud to call this son of the Congo our fellow American.

After her daughter was born, Julie Aigner-Clark searched for ways to share her love of music and art with her child. So she borrowed some equipment, and began filming children's videos in her basement. The Baby Einstein Company was born - and in just five years her business grew to more than $20 million in sales. In November 2001, Julie sold Baby Einstein to the Walt Disney Company, and with her help Baby Einstein has grown into a $200 million business. Julie represents the great enterprising spirit of America. And she is using her success to help others - producing child safety videos with John Walsh of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Julie says of her new project: "I believe it's the most important thing that I've ever done. I believe that children have the right to live in a world that is safe." We are pleased to welcome this talented business entrepreneur and generous social entrepreneur - Julie Aigner-Clark.

Three weeks ago, Wesley Autrey was waiting at a Harlem subway station with his two little girls, when he saw a man fall into the path of a train. With seconds to act, Wesley jumped onto the tracks ... pulled the man into a space between the rails ... and held him as the train passed right above their heads. He insists he's not a hero. Wesley says: "We got guys and girls overseas dying for us to have our freedoms. We got to show each other some love." There is something wonderful about a country that produces a brave and humble man like Wesley Autrey.

Tommy Rieman was a teenager pumping gas in Independence, Kentucky, when he enlisted in the United States Army. In December 2003, he was on a reconnaissance mission in Iraq when his team came under heavy enemy fire. From his Humvee, Sergeant Rieman returned fire - and used his body as a shield to protect his gunner. He was shot in the chest and arm, and received shrapnel wounds to his legs - yet he refused medical attention, and stayed in the fight. He helped to repel a second attack, firing grenades at the enemy's position. For his exceptional courage, Sergeant Rieman was awarded the Silver Star. And like so many other Americans who have volunteered to defend us, he has earned the respect and gratitude of our whole country.

In such courage and compassion, ladies and gentlemen, we see the spirit and character of America - and these qualities are not in short supply. This is a decent and honorable country - and resilient, too. We have been through a lot together. We have met challenges and faced dangers, and we know that more lie ahead. Yet we can go forward with confidence - because the State of our Union is strong ... our cause in the world is right ... and tonight that cause goes on.