Monday, June 30, 2008

Iraq Sues Over Oil-For-Food...And There's an Obama Connection

The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they turn, Bubba.

Today the Iraqi Justice Ministry announced that they have filed suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against dozens of companies and individuals accused of profiting from illegal kickbacks to the Saddam Hussein regime during the UN's multi-billion dollar Oil-For-Food scandal.

For those of you who've forgotten, the U.N. oil-for-food program, which ran from 1996to 2003, was originally created to help Iraq sell oil in order to buy humanitarian goods like food and medicine for the Iraqi people during the U.N. sanctions after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. Instead, it turned into one of the largest and most egregious scandals in history, with corrupt UN diplomats skimming off millions in 'commissions' and sweetheart deals in exchange for laundering money and allowing the Saddam regime to spend it on whatever it liked, instead of the welfare of the Iraqi people.

In addition, numerous companies paid outright bribes not only to middle men for 'access' but directly to the Saddam regime.

You may also recall the histrionics by the Angry Left at the time, blaming the Bush Administration for sanctions that supposedly murdered Iraqi children.

Children did in fact suffer and even die - but because of the Saddam regime and its willing accomplices in the UN and the corporate world.

The civil lawsuit the Iraqi government filed is seeking to recover damages from companies investigated by a the U.N.-sponsored Volcker Commission, claiming they cheated the Iraqi people out of the benefits of the $67 billion "all of which were directly translatable into food, medicine and other humanitarian goods that were supposed to reach the Iraqi people."

The list includes oil companies Vitol SA, Chevron, BNP Paribas, drug makers Eli Lilly & Co, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche,as well as a number of individuals like Oscar S. Wyatt Jr., former chairman of Coastal Corp., and David B. Chalmers Jr., the sole shareholder of Houston oil company Bayoil (USA) Inc.

Two other people who directly profited from the Oil-For-Food scandal and who's names will undoubtedly come out as this progresses are Obama's Arab backers Antoin Rezco and billionaire Nadhni Auchi, who were both in it up to their necks.

Auchi, who's barred from the US as an undesirable alien is now a citizen of the UK, and made most of his money as a fixer and conduit between Saddam Hussein and companies interested in flouting the sanctions and doing business with the regime.

Among his other accomplishments was allegedly using a bank he owned in Luxembourg to launder oil for food money for Saddam.

Auchi and Rezco are particularly tight and Obama appeared at a party given for Auchi by Rezco at Rezco's mansion in 2004, when Obama first achieved national prominence after his speech at the Democrat convention.Apparently Rezco induced Auchi to put substantial money into Chicago property investments, something that would have required the assistance of a well-connected Chicago pol like Obama.

It's also a matter of record that Auchi lent millions of dollars to Barack Obama's fundraiser via Rezco just weeks before that complex series of transactions between Rezko and Barack Hussein Obama involving the 2005 purchase of Obama's Chicago mansion and Rezko's wife's purchase of an adjoining landlocked parcel from the same owner on the same day.

I have a feeling Mr. Hope N' change is hoping the wheels of justice move along pretty slowly on this one. Some embarrassing questions could be raised.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wesley Clark Hits Out At McCain's Military Service

Today marked a new low for the Obama campaign..hitting Senator John McCain's military record.

This morning, on CBS' "Face the Nation" Retired General Wesley Clark, serving as a surrogate for the Obama campaign hit out at McCain's military record, and told host Bob Schieffer that Senator McCain doesn't have the executive leadership experience to serve as Commander-in-Chief.

Gen. Wesley Clark, acting as a surrogate for Barack Obama’s campaign, invoked John McCain’s military service against him in one of the more personal attacks on the Republican presidential nominee this election cycle.

Clark said that McCain lacked the executive experience necessary to be president, calling him “untested and untried” on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” And in saying so, he took a few swipes at McCain’s military service.

After saying, "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in the armed forces, as a prisoner of war," he added that these experiences in no way qualify McCain to be president in his view:

“He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn't a wartime squadron,” Clark said.

“I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.”

Now, a real journalist might have countered with a follow up question to Clark about how Barack Hussein Obama's career as a 'community activist' plus one undistinguished term in the Illinois state senate and an equally undistinguished half term as a US senator qualify him to become president..but that's not the way CBS and Schieffer play the game, at least when there's a Democrat involved.

McCain to his credit has never tried to exploit his military service overtly - unlike say, John Kerry who's seeming mention of his Vietnam service every other sentence became a national joke. Instead, McCain has used it in a dignified manner as part of a long career of public service.

Speaking of which, back in 2004 when Wesley Clarke was running for president and the Democrats were desperate for a presidential candidate with at least some kind of national security cred, it seems to me that General Clark made quite a huge deal about his military service as a qualification for office. Now, I personally find it odd that General Clark of all people would be hitting out at John McCain, who with all his faults at least knows how to handle himself when confronted by evil.

Oh, the photo above? That's Wesley Clark clowning and exchanging hats with Bosnian war criminal Ratko Mlidic, back in the good old days before the Hero of Kossovo was relieved of his command. Some Clinton administration members were quoted as privately saying that the incident was "like cavorting with Hermann Göring".

Funny how stuff like that keeps coming to the surface for these people.

hat tip to In from the Cold

Sarko The Disappointment

When he first was elected president to replace the odious Jacque Chirac, Americans were elated and gloried in the nickname given him by the French press, 'Sarko The American'. Based on recent events, I'm afraid, at least from the anti-jihad standpoint that a better nickname for him may turn out to be Sarko the Disappointment.

In Afghanistan, where the French agreed to send troops as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the French contribution remains minuscule so far, in spite of Sarkozy's promises to increase troop levels. They have a mere 400 combat troops stationed in the volatile southern and eastern regions, plus another 40 involved behind the lines training the Afghan army. Along with these forces, the French have another detachment of 650 men that are primarily involved in support duties in the more secure areas of the country.

As a comparison, the French have over 2,000 men stationed in the Balkans and another 2,500 troops, along with 1,500 sailors in Lebanon as part of UNFIL, where they are doing absolutely nothing to implement UN Resolution 1701 calling for an arms embargo and the disarmament of Hezbollah.

While Sarkozy has announced that he wants to bring France back into NATO, so far that hasn't happened, and given the recent revelations on the state of the French military, it's an open question on how much of an asset France would be to NATO even if they were part of it.

In the Middle East, President Sarkozy has made a number of warm public statements about his support for Israel, the Iranian threat and France's commitment to Israel's security, signifying a change from the hostility of the Chirac years. In practice..well, not much has changed.

France still retains a de facto embargo on arms and strategic materials to Israel, as does Britain and a number of other EU states (Germany is a notable exception).

In a recent visit to the Middle East, Sarkozy made a speech before the Israeli Knesset, once again extolling his friendship for Israel and declaring that Iran's nuclear program was "unacceptable". And yet, at the same time, France has made agreements to sell nuclear technology to a number of Arab states, most of whom can be said to be hostile to Israel. Those states include the UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Libya and Algeria. Or to put it another way, Moamar Qaddafi is now getting the same sort of aid Saddam Hussein did, and from the same source!

The irony is ummm...murderous.

After signing the deal with Algeria last month, Sarkozy said: "The sharing of civilian nuclear technology will be one of the foundations of a pact of confidence which the West must forge with the Islamic world."

The technology for a civilian nukes program and a military one are exactly the same, and so far we've had two 'Islamic bombs' to deal with already, in Pakistan and Iran. Things have worked out so well, haven't they? The French providing some more of these regimes with nuclear toys could be called a lot of things ( suicidal comes to mind) but a 'pact of confidence'?

In his speech to the Knesset, Sarkozy also decided that he had a right to tell Israelis where they might live and build homes, calling for Israel to halt construction of homes in East Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria (AKA the West Bank).

He also called for the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capitol. "We must tell friends the truth and the truth is that Israel's security can never be assured unless an independent, modern, democratic and viable Palestinian state is established finally beside it...There can be no peace without recognising Jerusalem as the capital of two states and the guarantee of freedom of access to the holy places for all religions."

I recognize that France has already ceded parts of its capitol to the Arabs, but I don't see that it has worked out all that well for the French.

Sarkozy's statement was greeted with wild applause throughout the Muslim world, as you can imagine. Of course, it probably never occurred to Sarkozy that in an independent, modern and democratic Palestinian state, there would be no problem with Jews living there. Or that his description of Jerusalem with freedom of access to the holy places for all religions is what the Israelis have established..and exactly what the Arabs never permitted during their 20 year occupation of East Jerusalem and what the Palestinians have also promised to forbid in the future should the Israelis be silly enough to give them control of it.

As part of Sarkozy's cozying up to the Palestinians, he had his Interior Minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, make a pilgrimage to Ramallah to lay a wreath of flowers at the tomb of Yasir Arafat, something even Condi Rice couldn't quite bring herself to do. And of course, pony up with some cash, $21 million to fund an industrial zone in the Bethlehem area supposedly to boost the Palestinian economy.

Based on the famous Palestinian transparency and desire for peace, Its a safe bet that most of that money will be end up being used by Fatah to line the pockets of Abbas' cronies,consolidate its dictatorial hold on the West Bank and to fund the war against Israel. In contrast, French support for Israel so far has been limited to a few innocuous, friendly remarks.

Sarkozy seems to be pursuing this course for the same reason Chirac did - to increase France's influence and make it a global player with weight out of all proportion to its actual power. And it appears that it will continue to pursue this course of action regardless of the ultimate cost to the West, or ultimately, to France itself. This will involve considerable alignment of France with the Arab world policy-wise, just as it did during the Chirac era.

The face and the rhetoric may be a bit different, but the destructive policies remain the same.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Your Caption For This Photo?

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had their unity moment today - after Obama agreed to have his donors pay off $10 million of Senator Clinton's campaign debts.

Captions? Here's mine: Obama to Hillary - "Pleasure doing business with you - now get the hell off the stage before a house falls on you or something."

Explosives Sniffing Police Dogs Offend Muslims..

Not only that, but their complaints are being taken seriously!

Apparently there have been numerous complaints by Muslims over the use of sniffer dogs to detect explosives by British police in areas like airports and subway terminals because Muslim culture considers dogs to be unclean animals.

There are even verses in some of the Hadiths calling for the killing of all dogs as a holy act unto Allah, and in case you didn't realize, this was what was behind Muslim cabbies here in America refusing to pick up blind people with seeing eye dogs.

Apparently Muslims also have a problem with electronic body scanning machines as well.

Considering that none of these measures were in widespread use before some of their co-religionists decided to start blowing up the rest of us, it seems to me that the least Muslims in the West could do would be to go along with the program and be inconvenienced like the rest of us....or return to places where the cultural norms are more to their liking.

According to a British Transport Police spokesman, they will still continue to use the dogs for now, but will instruct their personnel to be more 'culturally sensitive' and are considering only having the dogs sniff luggage rather than potential passengers.

Of course, most homicide bombers place the explosives on their persons, so sniffing luggage is not exactly going to get the job done, is it?


Watcher's Council Results, 6/27/08

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

A really good week for entries..

This week's winner was South Africa's Neville Chamberlain by The Razor, Scott's fine piece on th erelastionship between Zimbabwe's Robert Mugagbe and South Africa's Mbeki.

In second place was The Whole Shebaa-ng by Soccer Dad, a great in depth examination of the hypocrisy of demands on Israel to give up the Shabaa Farms.

Also getting votes were More Quincy byDone With Mirrors, Warped from right here at Joshuapundit and Dick Morris Gets One Right at Hillbilly White Trash

In the non-Council category, the winner was Why You Should Apologize -- Ineffectively and Dishonestly -- For What You Didn't Do by Classical Values. In second place was my nominee, The Unconscious Roots of Media Bias by ShrinkWrapped.

Hearty congratulations not only to the winners, but to all the entrants.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Flying Pig Moment - A Dino media Headline Critical Of Obama!!

Even I couldn't believe this one...McCain backs gun decision, Obama straddles issue. And it's from the AP,no less,documenting Obama's waffling on the issue:

Other than a few departures, McCain is largely in line with the National Rifle Association's hardline support for gun rights. He voted against a ban on assault-style weapons and for shielding gun-makers and dealers from civil damage suits.{...}

Campaigning in Cincinnati, McCain claimed Obama has reversed course on the issue. Obama told FOX Business Network he's been consistent.

The Democrat's campaign said a spokesman made an "inartful" statement when he said in November that Obama believed the D.C. law was constitutional. But Obama himself did not correct a debate moderator who repeated the position in February.

"You said in Idaho recently, I'm quoting here, 'I have no intention of taking away folks' guns.' But you support the D.C. handgun ban and you've said that it's constitutional," said the moderator, Leon Harris of Washington television station WJLA. Obama nodded as Harris spoke and said: "Right, right."

"How can you reconcile those two different positions?" Harris asked.

Obama answered that the United States has conflicting traditions of gun ownership and street violence that results from illegal handgun use. "So, there is nothing wrong, I think, with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets," Obama said.{..}

The campaign would not answer directly Thursday when asked whether the candidate agreed with the court that the D.C. ban was unconstitutional, simply pointing back to his statement.


Sami Al-Arian Indicted For Contempt

Convicted terrorist Sami Al-Arian has just been indicted on two counts of criminal contempt for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury in a related terrorism trial despite a grant of immunity.

This jihadist cockroach pled guilty in 2006 to 'conspiring to provide goods and services' to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. More accurately, he was Islamic Jihad's man in America, based out of the University of South Florida, with a network of adherents that keep surfacing in various terrorist incidents here in America.

The case in question concerns another jihadist fund raising organization, the Herndon, Virginia-based International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

IIIT was also the single biggest donor for Al-Arian’s World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE). The president of IIIT Al-Arian wrote a letter in 1992 referring to WISE as an extension of IIIT.

Interesting how those dots connect, isn't it?

By the way, if you look at the above photo, you'll recognize George and Laura Bush pressing the flesh with the Al-Arians and others of a similar persuasion back in 2000. Bush carried the Arab vote in that election handily, in no small part because the Democrat's vice-presidential candidate was a Jew.

Funny how these things change.

US Supreme Court Overturns DC Gun Ban

The Supreme Court today ruled on District of Columbia v. Heller and ended up striking down Washington DC's 32 year old gun ban as unconstitutional.

The full opinion,written by Justice Scalia is here

The Court split along its normal ideological lines, with Justices Roberts, Thomas, Alioto and Scalia joined by swing voter Justice Kennedy in overturning the ban and Justices Souter, Ginsberg, Breyer and Stevens voting against.

The case involved Dick Anthony Heller, 66, an armed security guard,who sued the District after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his home for protection.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in Heller's favor and struck down Washington's handgun ban, saying that DC's gun laws violated the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees Americans the right to own guns.

The amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Here's a money quote from Justice Scalia's majority opinion:

“In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.”

In other words, the District of Columbia is legally required to allow people to own handguns and keep them in their homes assembled and and ready for use (the DC ban permitted ownership of rifles and shotguns, but required them to be disassembled or kept inoperable). Not only that, but phony permit systems that allow people to apply but only but only actually grant permits to well-connected people and celebrities are also illegal.

Look for NRA financed challenges to existing laws in a number of localities. And about time, too.

I also find it intriguing that Justice Scalia referred to the right of Americans to carry weapons as being equal to the right to own weapons, thus providing a platform for future challenges to states and localities with laws prohibiting or severely curtailing concealed carry permits.

While Scalia's opinion was quite clear about the fact that the ruling should not Scalia said nothing in Thursday's ruling should "cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings."

What the ruling does state unequivically is that law abiding American citizens have the right to keep and bear arms for their own defense...just like the Second Amendment says.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Watcher's Council Nominations, 6/25/08

Every week, the Watcher's Council members nominate two posts each, one of their own and one from outside the group 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, the infamous Watcher of Weasels

Do take the time to check out the non-Council links available at the Watcher's site as well - they're always worthwhile.

So here's this week's Council lineup...enjoy!

Warped Joshuapundit - There's a certain warped mentality existing in somebody so desperately wedded to a political agenda, to a certain 'script' that they're willing to bend the truth or willfully ignore certain basic facts when they don't fit..especially if they don't have to live with the consequences. Nicholas Kristoff provides us with a fine example this week as he writes a farcical op-ed about Israel and the so-called 'occupation'.

As I reveal, Kristoff seems to have little or no knowledge about the Arab-Israeli conflict beyond what he 'feels'. And the reality is that as long as people of this ilk continue to fail to hold the Palestinians accountable for their murderous tribal mentality and or to make them pay a significant price for it, the two-states-living-in-peace-next -to-each-other mantra these people keep chanting will remain a fantasy.

More Quincy Done With Mirrors - Callimachus shows off his historian's chops in a nice piece on John Quincy Adams, a president he wishes some of our current leaders would emulate more.

Moonbat Kucinich Wants to Impeach Bush The Colossus of Rhodey -This week Hube looks at Congressman Dennis Kucinich's articles of impeachment just entered into Congress. Two minor quibbles...first of all, it's not Kucinich's fault that these are surfacing now. Kucinich wanted to introduce these long before but was held up by congressional procedure and the fact that the House Democrat leadership put considerable roadblocks in the way, prefering to keep Bush in office as an unpopular incumbent rather than appearing as a bunch of hysterical vindictive partisan fools. Here's a shocker for some of you - I disagree with Dennis Kucinich on any number of issues, but I have enormous respect for his personal courage and integrity, especially compared to a great many other congressmen. Doing this took a certain amount of political courage, even if he's dead wrong.

Second, there's absolutely no comparison between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush when it comes to impeachable offenses, and I say that as no great fan of the current occupant of the White House. President Clinton was guilty on several counts of two felonies, perjury and obstruction of justice, which is why he was disbarred...and that's just the stuff they were able to prove fairly easily. While President Bush has made a number of very questionable decisions while in office, I'm not aware of any felonies he may have committed.

Left Continues Denigration of McCain's Military Service, POW Heroism Rhymes With Right - Greg sees a pattern in Leftist attempts to minimize and disparage John McCain's military record. Considering how most of these people obviously feel about the military, it's hardly surprising, especially with an election looming.

South Africa's Neville Chamberlain The Razor - Scott looks at South African president Thabo Mbeki and compares his failure to pressure Zimbabwe's thug - in -chief Robert Mugabe with the failures of British PM Neville Chamberlain prior to WWII, and questions why Mbeki has been so ineffectual with Mugabe.

If I might offer a suggestion, I think it has to do with the long-standing ties between Mugabe and the ANC leadership of South Africa, back when both of them were terrorizing their respective countries . People have largely forgotten how brutal and thuggish those `freedom' movements were. Mugabe obviously knows where a lot of bodies are buried, so to speak, and the last thing Mbeki and the current rulers of South Africa want is stories of the bad old days tarnishing their image. Easier by far to keep things low key and wait for the ranting old killer to die off, along with the sordid details he's been privy to, I think.

Dick Morris Gets One Right Hillbilly White Trash - Lem has a fine post in which he expands on a column by Dick Morris that equates Obama's 'law enforcement' approach to combatting Islamic fascism with the failed approach of the Clinton years..and then compares it with the successes of a primarily military approach to the problem.

The Whole Shebaa-ng Soccer Dad - Soccer Dad examines the demands on Israel by to relinqish the strategic Mount Dov area to Hezbollah and the hypocrisy behind it. As he correctly points out, Israel captured the area in 1967 from Syria in response to Syrian aggression. Not only that, but when the Israeli Army left southern Lebanon, it went to considerable pains to have the UN demarcate the borders under Resolution 425 so that there would be no doubt about Israel remaining in any Lebanese territory, and the resolution specifically states that the area in question is part of Syria.

Of course, none of that matters when it comes to dealings with Israel. They're being pressured from various parties to relinquish the area to Hezbollah as a 'sacrifice for peace'. If they do it, they're absolute fools.

When you voluntarily give up strategic territory on your borders in a vacuum without ensuring that a friendly or at least neutral party has control, this is what happens. Had the Israelis established a friendly buffer state in South Lebanon controlled by a coalition of the Druse, the Marronite factions and the SLA before pulling out rather than relying on the UN, they wouldn't have the problems they're having today.

Gay Pride Week Bookworm Room - As a native and resident of the Bay Area, Ms. Bookworm takes a look at Gay Pride Week and the implications of some of its more outre' spectacles.

Afghanistan Update The Glittering Eye - Dave Schuler looks at the current situation in Afghanistan and wonders whether this is a no win situation.

My ANWR Photo Gallery Cheat Seeking Missiles - Laer does a wonderful job in showing us exactly what the small section of the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve where the oil is looks like, as opposed to the fantasy. Having actually been to the area in question myself, I've always wondered at the arguments against drilling here.

And on the Seventh Day, He Rested Wolf Howling - GW has a delightfully snarky look at the latest series of hypocritical actions by a certain presidential candidate. Change!

Paradise, Favorites, and the Evaluation Headgame The Education Wonks - EdWonks gives us an inside look at the teacher evaluations process.

SoCal Jihadi Gets 22 Years

Back in 2005, I mentioned a fairly sinister plot in Los Angeles that involved a cell of jihadists and Muslims converted in prison who were planning a vicious assault on military and Jewish targets in the area.

It's taken almost three years,but the first of the group has finally been sentenced:

A Muslim convert and former prison inmate was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison Monday for conspiring to wage war on the United States – including plotting terrorist attacks on local military sites and Jewish centers and synagogues – in a plan one prosecutor said was intended to “kill as many people as possible.”

Levar Haley Washington, 30, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty in December to being part of a domestic terrorist ring run from a California prison.

Authorities say the four men in Jami’yyat Ul-Islam Is-Shaheeh, or JIS, wanted make a political statement by killing civilians at local temples during Jewish holidays and attacking military bases, and had plans to attack the Israeli consultate in Los Angeles and El Al Israel Airlines at LAX.

Washington, along with the cell’s alleged mastermind, Kevin James, and members Gregory Patterson and Hammad Samana, was charged in July 2005.

Washington was serving time at New Folsom Prison in 2004, when he met James and was recruited into the cell.

After his release from prison, Washington recruited Patterson. The pair committed armed robberies of 11 gas stations, including two in Fullerton, to buy weapons and gear for the attacks.

The article doesn't mention it,but it was sheer luck that these people were caught,when one of these motards left his cell phone at the scene of one of those robberies.

Two of the others are scheduled to be sentenced within a month, while one of the group, Hammad Samana, is supposedly unfit to stand trial and is in a psychiatric facility.

I haven't researched it,but from this bit by the Federal prosecutor, I can almost guarantee the Islamophobia card was played..which leads me to wonder..who paid for their legal defense? I have a feeling it wasn't a public defender:

Federal prosecutor Gregory Staples clarified the case against Washington was not about religion – it was about terrorist activity.

“Mr. Washington is not on trial because he is a Muslim,’’ Staples said. “What he did was the most serious political crime. … The plan was to walk into a house of worship and kill as many people as you can get away with – that is the sheer definition of terrorism.”

U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney handed down the 22-year sentence, calling the plot “truly frightening.”

“It was an active terrorist cell ready to act out its evil,” the judge said. “(We) need to send a message out to terrorists: They need to be held accountable.”

There will be a lot more of prepared.

Gaza Rockets Slam Into Southern Israel

Well, that didn't take long.

Sderot was hit by three Qassams today, launched by islamic Jihad, breaching the 'calm'. One of the missiles hit a house and caused heavy damage, and an injured civilian and three shock victims were treated.

Islamic Jihad claims the rockets were in revenge for two of its operatives who were killed in a firefight in Nablus yesterday when Israelis with the IDF's Duvdevan unit attempted to arrest them. One of them was Tarek Juma Abu Ghalia, described as Islamic Jihad's commander in Northern Samaria, AKA the West Bank.

The 'calm' does not cover the West Bank, as Hamas and Islamic Jihad showed earlier in last Friday's attack on five Israeli hikers.

Like all the other attempted ceasefires, this will be another one that isn't, and it will return to the status quo as soon as Hamas regroups a bit.

The weapons smuggling, which was supposed to end as a condition of the ceasefire is continuing unabated, and kidnapped Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit is still being held.

Same old stuff.

Monday, June 23, 2008


One of the strangest things about what I do is having to combat a certain mentality in society, that the rape victim was somehow responsible for what happened. It's like, she was to blame because she should have known not to be at that place at that time, or to be dressed a certain way, or to get on that particular subway or not to be walking alone in that particular area, like she had no right to be there in the first place. Even more heartbreaking is the way they sometimes get the victim to believe that herself... - my friend Miriam, a rape crisis counselor.

There's a certain warped mentality existing in somebody so desperately wedded to a political agenda, to a certain 'script' that they're willing to bend the truth or willfully ignore certain basic facts when they don't fit..especially if they don't have to live with the consequences. It's especially dangerous when these people have access to media and attempt to infect others.

Nicholas Kristoff provides this week's example, in the Sunday New York Times.

In an oped entitled The Two Israels Kristoff focuses on Hebron and laments what he calls the good Israel, meaning self-loathing Israelis like Leftist columnists like Akiva Eldar,Amira Hass and groups like B'Tselem (the American equivalents would be Frank Rich, David Corn and Code Pink) versus the bad Israel of those evil settlers, the security checkpoints and what he terms the 'oppression' of those poor Palestinians:

"To travel through the West Bank and Gaza these days feels like traveling through Israeli colonies.

You whiz around the West Bank on new highways that in some cases are reserved for Israeli vehicles, catching glimpses of Palestinian vehicles lined up at checkpoints.

The security system that Israel is steadily establishing is nowhere more stifling than here in Hebron, the largest city in the southern part of the West Bank. In the heart of a city with 160,000 Palestinians, Israel maintains a Jewish settlement with 800 people. To protect them, the Israeli military has established a massive system of guard posts, checkpoints and road closures since 2001."

My, my, my...such a lot of unadulterated horse manure in a mere three paragraphs.

I guess Kristoff forgot that the Israelis gave Gaza to the Palestinians with the idea that they would actually use it to build lives for themselves instead of creating a terrorist squat and missile launching ground. Some 'colony', hmm?

And regardless of how it feels to tools like Kristoff, the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are hardly colonies, since no country had claim to those areas in the first place once the British left. True, the Jews in places like Gush Etzion and Ariel were ethnically cleansed by the Jordanians in 1948, but if that constitutes squatter's rights, then the Israelis have just as valid a claim by retaking the area in 1967. Better in fact, since a significant part of those 'settlements' are merely Jewish communities on land purchased by the Jewish National Fund prior to 1948 that have been rebuilt.

Hebron is a particularly lousy example of a 'settlement'. It's the site of the Cave of the Patriarchs, the burial site of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their wives Sara, Rivka and Leah. It is the second holiest site in Judaism and has stood in Hebron for a mere 3000 years, and the Jews have a purchase agreement and a deed to the Genesis 23:17. Hebron has had a continuous Jewish presence for centuries until 1936, when the Arabs massacred the inhabitants and drove them out of the city while British troops essentially stood by and watched. Most of those Arab squatters in Hebron thus obtained their land by sheer theft. Kristoff also conveniently leaves out the fact that his numbers are skewed - the Jewish community of Kiryat Arba is part of Hebron and has almost 10,000 residents, in addition to the 800 or so Jews Kristoff mentions.

Not only that, but the Palestinians themselves recognized the Jews right to live in Hebron in perpetuity when none other than Yasir Arafat signed the Hebron Accords in January, 1997.

Of course, he was as full of it as Kristoff is, but he did make the deal at the time when he thought it was to his advantage.

Let's look at some more of what Kristoff had to say:

Rima Abu Aisha, a housewife in Hebron, has the misfortune of living in an area near the settlers. When she went into labor, an ambulance could not get the appropriate permissions in time and the baby died, she said.

Even if the Hebron settlement were not illegal in the eyes of much of the world, it is utterly impractical. The financial cost is mind-boggling, and the diplomatic cost is greater.

Perhaps greatest of all is the cost for any hope of a peaceful settlement: the barriers and checkpoints have undermined Palestinian moderates like President Mahmoud Abbas and have empowered Hamas. Polls show that two-thirds of Palestinians now approve of terror attacks against civilians in Israel, up from 40 percent in 2005.

Isn't it cute how Kristoff unquestioningly accepts some Palestinian folklore about a dead baby ladled out to a sympathetic western journalist without any objective proof? Probably never heard of Mohammed Al-Dura, Gaza Beach or the so-called 'Jenin Massacre'. He also convenietly forgets about the many times the Palestinians have used Red Crescent ambulances and supposedly ill women and children as decoys to smuggle homicide bombers and terrorist killers past checkpoints and into Israel.

Of course, there have actually been dead babies in Hebron. One of them was little 10-month-old Shalhevet Pas,(z"ll) who was deliberately targeted for murder while in her stroller by a sniper in the Tanzim, part of Fatah's Palestinian 'moderates'...who Mahmoud Abbas insists on being freed as part of any peace agreement.

What people like Kristoff don't see - what they don't want to see - is that whenever the Israelis lift their security arrangements to allow the Palestinians more movement, it's simply a green light for the murder of more Jews. That's why there are checkpoints, restricted roads and an IDF presence...because the Palestinians have made a holy and heroic deed out of murder and because people like Shalhevet Pas need to be protected.

Kristoff is right about one thing. Protecting the Jews in Hebron is difficult and expensive. But the alternative is a lot more expensive.

Were there any missiles or mortar rounds flying into Israel from Gaza before the IDF presence and the 'settlers' were removed? Take the Jews out of Hebron and the West Bank and watch what happens.

Of course, none of this fits the convenient script Kristoff and people like him have adopted.

I would likewise love to know where he gets his statistics indicating that the Palestinians were less radicalized in 2005 than they are today.I've been following those stats for a decade, and I've never seen anything like the numbers he cites.Considering that the Palestinians overwhelmingly endorsed Hamas in the January 2006 elections,less than a year after he claims they were less genocidal I think his source is about as reliable as the supposed dead Palestinian baby.

The Palestinians have proven again and again and again that most of them have no interest in the idea of two states for two peoples - they want it all, and a big part of that is delegitimizing the Jewish claim to the land and replacing it with their own...which is why they're so interested in getting their blood stained hands on Hebron and the Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem. People with warped perspectives like Kristoff and the 'good Israelis' he cites are aiding and abetting that kind of genocide, no matter how much they might be living in denial.They're within their rights to feel that way, but I simply would prefer they be honest about it.

The Palestinians regard their war with Israel as a tribal conflict, and were they to prevail, they would massacre every Jew they could get their hands on, while people like Kristoff shake their heads and deplored the 'cycle of violence' since they have no understanding of the way most of the Palestinians think except through their own warped frame of reference.

That's the basic reason the two state solution people like these are so exercised about will never work, in case you were wondering - because they refuse to hold the Palestinians accountable for their murderous tribal mentality and or to make them pay a significant price for it. Until they do, there's absolutely no incentive for the Palestinians to change in the least.

A peace agreement with any real meaning shouldn't be predicated on the idea that Jews or Arabs have to be ethnically cleansed from a given area, but that Jews and Arabs can actually live together no matter where the borders are drawn. The Israelis had already proven themselves capable of doing that in pre-1967 Israel, and the very reason they avoided tossing the Arabs out of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria after the Six Day War was because, like Kristoff, they didn't understand the tribal mentality that drives most of the Palestinians. They gambled on the idea of peace with their neighbors and lost, and there are a lot of Jews who would be alive today if they had simply pushed most of the Arabs in the West Bank over the Jordan River into the Palestinian state of Jordan the British established for the Arabs in 1923.

People like Kristoff want them to throw good money after bad, and create more restricted Jew-free neighborhoods in the Middle East while endangering what's left so he can applaud the `good Israel'. He won't be anywhere to be found when the corpses start piling up afterwards. People like him almost never are.

That attitude is not only downright stupid, but dangerous.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Is An Attack Against Iran Imminent?

The recent US leak of a massive Israeli military exercise sparked a whole lot of controversy, with some surprising revelations.

The first one came from Inspector Clouseau The IAEA's own pro-Islamist clown Mohammed El Baradei. You've probably seen the soundbite of his interview with al-Arabiya TV (as duly reported by al-Reuters) in which he claims that if Iran is attacked, he'll resign.

What you weren't told is that is El Baradei's estimate, Iran is only 6-12 months away from a nuclear weapon ....and he hasn't even seen everything.

(hat tip to MEMRI and Carl In Jerusalem at Israel Matzav)

This is exactly the opposite of what El Baradei has been spouting off for almost five years now, ever since Iranian dissidents - NOT the UN's IAEA watchdog - revealed Iran's illegal clandestine nukes program,. Apparently the IAEA under El Baradi would have difficulty finding its collective behind with both hands.

The same thing is likely true of the people who prepared the last National Intelligence Estimate on Iran.

So what exactly are the Israelis up to? And how likely is a strike on Iran by either Israel or the US?

Let me start off by saying I would be extremely surprised if this recent exercise was actually a 'rehearsal' for an Israeli strike.

The IDF and the Israeli government have been justifiably concerned about Iran for quite some time, and I have absolutely no doubts that they have had a well coordinated plan to deal with Iran for quite some time. But I doubt it involves huge air armadas over least in the opening stages.

The last two long range IDF operations were the 1981 destruction of Saddam Hussein Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq (which saved countless American lives) and the destruction of Yasir Arafat's headquarters in Tunis. In both cases, the Israelis achieved total tactical surprise, demolished their targets, and suffered no losses of aircraft or crews.

Both operations were also accomplished not by huge air fleets by by small tactical groups of IAF jets just as the raid that took out Syria's clandestine nuclear site was.

The reason is that large groups of planes maximize the radar footprint and minimize the element of tactical surprise, which is exactly how the IAF plays the game. The Israelis would be far more likely to use small groups of planes, flying in tight formation to minimize radar signals. They would fly along established air corridors, mimicking the call signals and radio traffic common to commercial airlines.

An airstrike would also likely be proceeded by an Israeli missile strike on the Iranian surface to air missile sites and radar installations shortly before the Israeli planes hit their targets. Some may be delivered by air from a distance outside the range of Iranian fighter craft (most of which are outdated and in bad shape), others from Dolphin submarines. The Iranian nuke installations are guarded by the same supposedly invincible Russian-built Pantsyr missile defense systems the Israeli successfully blinded when they destroyed the Syrian nuclear site earlier this year. It's likely the Russians and the Iranians made a few tweaks to the system based on that, but it's also highly likely that the IDF also has a few new tricks up its sleeve.

Another factor the Israelis have doubtless considered is the fact that Iran's terrorist stooges in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria would doubtless attempt to attack Israel's civilian population, so a sufficient amount of IDF air power would have to be left in country to deal with that threat.

I also found it intersting that choppers were used in the recent long range exercise, giving rise to the posasiblity that the Israelis may actually be planning to use small units of ground troops in an operation as they are rumored to have done in Syria. The Israelis have good friends both in the Turkish military and in the Kurdish Persh Merga, who they've been training and supplying with arms since the Saddam years.Both areas could be clandestine staging areas.

Here's what terrorism expert Steve Emerson had to say about the matter on FOX:

An Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities is definitely possible, although it would involve razor thin planning and likely the use of bunker busters or even tactical nukes because of the way the Iranian installations are situated underground.I agree with Emerson's estimate - it's unlikely the IDF would be able to totally destroy Iran's nuclear facilities because they're so widespread, but even damaging a fairly small percentage, particularly in Bushehr and Natanz would likely set the Iranian efforts back ten to fifteen years. likely is it? And when might it happen?

Unfortunately, it's entirely likely, unless President Bush has the stones to do it first, which I doubt.The Israelis will probably be stuck doing this on their own...there's absolutely no way they can afford to allow Iran and the Mullahs to own nuclear weapons.

The US could pull off a strike far easier than the Israelis could, and destroy a great deal more of Iran's nuclear infrastructure, but doing so would cause President Bush incredible political fallout here at home from the Democrats here in Congress.They'd go berserk. If it happens at all, I would look for it in October (depending on how it might afect McCain's chances) or the period after the election, especially if Barack Hussein Obama is going to be our next president.Doing it in that time frame would give the president a rough month or two but not cause him any problems with impeachment.

As for the Israelis, here I'd give it the same time frame if nothing changes between now and then - October or November. This week the Knesset votes on whether to dissolve itself and go to elections ridding itself of the poisonous abcess of the Olmert government. AFter elections, with a new Knesset, new leadership and a new security cabinet, the Israelis will be a in a much better position to do what they will likely need to do.


Amid all the teleprompter driven rhetoric, Mr. Hope N'Change has revealed a simple truth...that if he becomes president, you better damn well hope you have any change left when he gets through with you.

Obama has made `tax the rich' the economic mantra of his whole campaign.He loves to talk to his audiences of Kool-Ade drinkers about putting heavy windfall profits taxes on the oil companies, "big corporations and wealthy CEOS" and ending what he cheerfully refers to as "the Bush tax cuts for the rich."

Aside from the basic stupidity of not realizing that corporations don't pay taxes (their customers ultimately do)The Chosen One seems to have a leetle bitty problem deciding who the Evil Rich are exactly. And the bar keeps being lowered.

Depending on exactly which Obama tax proposal you're talking about, the definition of who's 'rich' has varied between $100,000, $200,000 and $250,000 per year in income.

Not only is Obama threatening to eliminate the so-called 'Bush tax cuts for the rich' on the above named household income levels, but he wants to eliminate the cap on Social Security taxes, which amounts to a major tax hike on anybody who makes more than $100,000 in income.

I bet you never realized how 'rich' you were, did you?

Obama also promnises to bring back the 1970's with a 25% windfall profits tax on American oil companies, which should insure that no domestic oil drilling or energy creation to increase supply takes place in America and that gas prices continue to rise....along with the cut the Feds and local government take from their percentage of each and every gallon that comes out of the tank.

At that, raising taxes even on the 'rich' with incomes above $100,000 isn't going to come anywhere near paying for the spending spree Obama is promising for education, bio-energy and universal health care. Repealing the Bush tax cuts for those with earnings of more than $250,000 would raise only about $40 billion a year, according to economist Alan Reynolds at the Cato Institute, which would leave President Obama with something like a $360 billion shortfall in finding the money for all the lovely things he's promising in this election season.

Even if Obama's other economic proposals are enacted - lifting the cap on Social Security taxes, his proposed windfall profits taxes on oil companies and his proposed spike in the capital gains tax, Obama is still likely to have as much as a $275 to $300 billion deficit even by the most wildly optimistic estimates.

That's going to leave him with two choices, especially since the increased taxes on business are going to to cut into revenues by crippling investment and business expansion. Either he's going to have to anger the people whose votes he's trying to buy by not coming through on the promised bribes, or he's going to have to lower the bar on who qualifies as 'rich' even further, and make up as much of the rest of the shortfall as possible by turning on the printing presses and further weakening the dollar.

Guess which he's going to choose?

An Obama presidency won't be about 'the future''ll be about reliving the past,with another dose of the superb economic management of the Jimmy Carter years.

Can we spell s-t-a-g-f-l-a-t-i-o-n ? Yes, we can!

Haveil Havalim Is Up!

Soccer Dad is hosting Haveil Havalim #170, the carnival of the Jewish blogosphere...great stuff as always!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Behind The Israeli 'Rehearsal' For An Iran Strike

Three weeks ago, the Israeli air force did what was described by the New York Times as a training exercise over the Aegean Sea and Greece.

It involved over 100 Israeli F-16 and long range F-15 fighters and included choppers and refueling tankers. They flew around 900 miles, roughly the distance between Israel and the Iranian uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.

The Israelis refused to comment except to say that the air force trains regularly for contingencies designed to meet threats facing Israel. The IDF chief of staff, Lieutenant General Gaby Ashkenazy commented to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee: "Beside the actions and sanctions against Iran, it is important we remain ready for any options."

Now what's interesting about this is the Israeli motive in doing this, aside from contingency planning. They may very well be signalling the Bush Administration that they will go it alone on Iran if they feel they're forced into a corner.

Given lackadaisical way the EU, the UN and the US are treating the prospect of Iran possessing nuclear weapons it has sworn to use against Israel in a genocidal fashion, one can hardly blame them.

Should things heat up into war with Iran, even if Israel is not directly involved they will have threats on three borders to deal with, Hezbollah, Syria and Hamas. And it's difficult to believe that America's favorite terrorists in Fatah would fail to join in the jihad against the Jews.

One Pentagon official was reported as saying, “They rehearse it, rehearse it and rehearse it, so that if they actually have to do it, they’re ready. They’re not taking any options off the table.”

An interesting remark, in that it implies the the Israeli Air Force has rehearsed these kind of exercises before, with the US being fully aware of it.

So....why did it suddenly leak now? Why the publicity?

Could it be that the last thing the Bush Administration wants is disturb anything or stir things up before he leaves office in 6 months? Does he fear the political and personal fallout of confronting Iran on his watch?

Only time will tell.

FISA Laws Pass The House

It was a bad day in Congress today for the Left, with both the Iraq funding bill and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) immunizing telecommunications companies against lawsuits based on their participation in the government's warrantless wiretaps on suspected terrorists.

The senate votes tomorrow, and the bill is expected to pass, even with some of the usual suspects (Harry Reid, Russ Feingold, Patrick Leahy, etc) being vocally angry about it.

It should be mentioned that the Bush administration assured these companies before they cooperated that their assistance was not only a matter of national security but completely legal, and that they would be protected.

The ACLU and the trial lawyers must all be wearing black today..they lost a fortune. The country apparently has gained some much needed perspective, with even Senator Barack Hussein Obama supporting it to the anger and disillusionment of the Angry Left:

"Given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as president, I will carefully monitor the program," Obama said in a statement hours after the House approved the legislation 293-129.

Of course, this represents yet another bit of waffling by the Chosen One. Back in February, when he was running to the left of Senator Clinton in the Super Tuesday primaries, he dissed virtually the same bill, saying: "I am proud to stand with Senator Dodd, Senator Feingold and a grassroots movement of Americans who are refusing to let President Bush put protections for special interests ahead of our security and our liberty."

As the general gets closer, look for Obama to attempt to fool people with flip flops like this that he's more centrist than he actually is.


The Real Banana On Politics With Weekend Monkey 6/20/08

FF: Once again,it's time to swing through the rancid political jungle with JoshuaPundit's own political guru and former Democratic Presidential Candidate, my pal Weekend Monkey.

But before we do Monkey, I think you owe it to your fans in Joshua's Army to explain to them why you've been MIA for over a month.

WM: Look, I already feel bad enough about it as it is...can we just drop it already?

FF: You're a public figure, Monkey. You have responsibilities.I think you'll feel better if we start out by acknowledging what happened...after all, it's the beginning of recovery and starting over, no? Denial ain't a river in Egypt, Monkey..

WM:@##!$!..all right, all right already! OK, here's what went down. You know I was doing pretty well betting the primaries.

FF: Your track record was impeccable. You even picked Hillary to win in New Hampshire when no one else did.

WM: Yeah, yeah...well I decided to lay most of it on the Pistons to knock the Celtics out of the NBA playoffs.

FF: Were you on crack, Monkey? You took the Pistons?

WM: The Pistons and points - look, I figured it would be another nice payday like when I took the Giants and five against the Pats in the Superbowl. Instead, I got clobbered, and the bookies took all my money..waaahhh hah hah!!

FF: Dry your eyes, Monkey. It happens. Look, you have to stay away from sports betting,that's all. Remember what happened to you when you lost all that money playing golf with OJ Simpson and Kato? Anyway, there's more to the story, isn't there?

WM:Yeah...I don't really remember so much...I'd been drinking pretty heavily and I guess I just got a little nuts.

FF: You don't remember smashing up that sport's bar where you were watching the game, ripping the TV off the wall and throwing it at that booth?

WM: Look, I was like..distraught, y'know? And the place was filled with #@!!# Celtics fans mocking me.

FF: They weren't so bad..they could have pressed charges for assault. I would have, if somebody ripped a TV off a bar wall and threw it at me. By the way, what did you end up being charged for?

WM: Public drunkenness, vandalism, destruction of private property, assaulting an officer and resisting arrest.And uh...thanks for bailing me out, FF.

FF: Don't mention it. When's your court date?

WM: In about two months. My lawyer says I'll probably end up with community service and a fine, and have to pay for the damages, but no jail time.

FF: You're lucky about, cute n' furry, in prison...

WM: Thanks a @#!! lot, FF.

FF: Just rippin' you, Monkey. So what have we learned?

WM: No more high stakes sports betting for me!

FF: Good man uh-monkey! Now that this is behind you and you faced up to it honestly, you can go back to being JoshuaPundit's political guru with a clear conscience. And remember, you really have to watch your alcohol're a different monkey when you're drinking, and you don't want to have to wind up in rehab again.

WM: Hey, the last time I was there, Teddy Kennedy was in the room next to mine and gave me a check to run for president..but you're right, y'know. I gotta clean my act up.

FF: Well said. You want to go over the last month's political happenings or just start off fresh?

WM: Let's start off fresh and forget the last month ever happened.

FF: Fair enough. How do you see the campaign going so far?

WM: I think it's Obama's to lose, if he gets nominated. The election will be all about him.

FF: You think there's a chance he won't be?

WM: A remote one, but yeah. Anything could happen between now and August..I mean, he could have lunch with Shrillary and end up with a mysterious case of food poisoning, y'know, hee hee hee!

FF: Good one, Monkey! Assuming that he is the nominee, how do you see things going?

WM: Way too early to tell, FF, but here's a few things to look at. The general is really fifty little elections instead of just one, and Obama Yo' Mama has a coupla choices to make, like Virginia or Pennsylvania? Both states are in play the way I see it, and that has a lot to do with who he's picking as a running mate. If he decides he needs more help in Pennsylvania, it might be somebody like Governor Ed Rendell. If he figures he has a decent shot to take Virginia, then he might go for Tim Kaine or Jim Webb..and Webb, remember, has some national security cred, which Obama Yo' Mama also needs. It'll all come down to his polling people.

FF: Yeah, I agree, but Webb has a personality you could peel paint with.

WM: True, but that could actually be an asset if Obama Yo' Mama is looking for an attack dog to run amuck while he stays presidential and reads the teleprompter. If you think about it, that's kind of what he's been using his campaign and the 527's for all along..they say the nasty, negative stuff and then he can plausibly deny it if the poop gets too thick.

Another wild card has to do with Obama Yo' Mama's people doing what they refer to as 'massive voter registration drives' in the black community in the South and in the big cities in the North and Midwest..

FF: You mean stuff like walking around money, voting dead people, felons and homeless people, right?

WM: Exactly, FF! We're dealing with a Chicago pol here after all. And one with a ton of money. But even with that, it's gonna be dicey, and will depend a lot on a lot of factors - the economy, McCain's running mate, Obama's running mate, what happens at the conventions and whether Obama says any more dumbass stuff or has any more stuff in his past that hasn't come out yet. One thing I see that I find interesting is that the two candidates are pretty much in a dead heat, which ain't so good for Obama. At this point in `04, Kerry was running about twelve to fifteen points in the polls above Bush. I also think the debates will probably be a factor.

FF: Speaking of which, did you notice that Obama turned down McCain's invite to do townhall style debates?

WM: Are you kidding FF? Did you really expect him to agree? I mean, have you heard this clown without a teleprompter? Anyway, I don't see the Red State Blue State map changing all that much SO FAR. The battle ground will still be in the Midwest. One advantage is that Obama has tons of money to saturate that area, but it didn't do him all that much good in the primaries there. So we'll see. Right now the polls show Michigan, Virginia and Ohio as too close to call, and I personally think Pennsylvania and Minnesota are too. And remember, you also got what I call the 'racist' factor going on - a lot of people might tell pollsters they're favoring Obama when they really aren't, so that they seem nice and liberal and open minded, y'know?

FF: That should make for some interesting exit polls come November. If McCain's going to have any chance at all he needs to start hitting Obama pretty hard on his inconsistencies. And he had better start working a lot harder on unifying the Republican party. You know what the funniest bumper sticker I've seen is lately? " @#! McCain. He's the least offensive Democrat out there."

WM: Hee hee hee hee! Personally, I think Bush did most of the work on the ReThugs for my Democrats way in advance!

FF: I don't disagree with you there, Monkey. Have a good weekend, OK?

WM: Thanks, FF, you do the same. And looky, primates, you have a good one as well.It's nice to be back.

Watcher's Council Results, 6/20/08

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

This week's winner was Judicial Activism Run Amok by Wolf Howling - a fine in depth piece on th erecent Supreme court decision extending habeus corpus rights to enemy combatants.

In second place was Admitting Defeat in the Rhetoric War by Cheat Seeking Missiles, Laer's take on President Bush's mea culpa to the London Times.

Also getting votes were What the Free World Would Do Well To Emulate at The Colossus of Rhodey, Say It Loud, Say It Proud: I Am a Racist! *UPDATED* at Bookworm Room and my own piece, A Rose By Any Other Name -- Tiptoeing Around Jihad at Joshuapundit.

In the non-Council category, the winner was After the Charge by Miserable Donuts, a great piece from a soldier in the field in Iraq. In second place was Obama and Taxes: An Unchanged Liberal Agenda by the Lone Star Times, which is pretty much what it sounds like.

Hearty congratulations not only to the winners, but to all the entrants.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Can This Marriage Be Saved?

Click on the image to enlarge it, read this and you be the judge...laugh out loud funny! language.

Hat tip to Death By A Thousand Paper Cuts

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss..

Barack Hussein Obama has announced his foreign policy/national security 'working group'...and if anyone doubted that the Chosen One is running for Jimmy Carter's second term, wonder no more:

Ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright - Kim Il Jong's favorite US diplomat, her experience in appeasing tyrants bent on becoming nuclear powers will be invaluable in appeasing.. I mean.. in negotiating with Iran.

Ex-Senator David Boren, former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence - Lessee...voted against the 1990 Persian Gulf War, one of the Clinton's top choices to replace Les Aspin as a U.S. Secretary of Defense in 1994, really sorry he voted to confirm Clarence Thomas...yep,fits the pattern.

Ex-Secretary of State Warren Christopher-Jimmy Carter's ex- Deputy Secretary of State and Bill Clinton's Secretary of State...need I say any more?

Greg Craig, former director of the State Department Office of Policy Planning- Teddy Kennedy's Senior Advisor on Defense, Foreign Policy and National Security issues for five years, Kennedy's lawyer during the 1991 William Kennedy Smith rape trial,and a key part of the Clinton defense team during his impeachment and the lawyer instrumental in sending Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba.

Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig AKA Winnie The Pooh.

Ex-Representative Lee Hamilton, former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee - James Baker's partner in putting together the infamous Iraq Study group report in 2006,which included a special section on how the problems in the Middle East were All Israel's Fault.

Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder - Obama's senior legal advisor, he served as Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno during the Clinton Administration and was a major part of granting a number of questionable pardons in the last days of the Clinton era,including the one granted to Mark Rich,who was wanted on tax evasion charges and for illegal trading with Iran and Iraq.

Dr. Tony Lake, former National Security Advisor - Lake was a foreign policy advisor to Jimmy Carter's 1976 campaign and later worked in the Carter Administration as head of the State Department's in-house think tank.He was Bill Clinton's NSA during his first term,and was part of the team that dealt with Bosnia, Somalia and Oslo.

Senator Sam Nunn, former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee -A relatively conservative democrat, difficult to know what he's doing here in this group.

Secretary of Defense William Perry -Perry served as undersecretary of defense
during the Carter Administration, and as secretary of defense during Clinton's first term..sohe has a great deal of experience in slashing defense budgets.

Dr. Susan Rice, former Assistant Secretary of State - A long time DC State Department apparatchnik and an assistant secretary of state for African Affairs under President Clinton who was in office while Somalia and the Rwandan genocide occurred while very little was done to stop it. She was a foreign policy aide in the Michael Dukakis campaign and served as a foreign policy adviser to John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign. One of the major steps Kerry suggested for dealing with the Middle East was to appoint James Baker and Jimmy Carter as negotiators. When furor erupted at the prospect of two of the most ardent foes of Israel being suggested to basically ride “roughshod” over Israel, Kerry backtracked and blamed his staff for the idea. His "staff" was Susan Rice.

Like Condi Rice, she's female,black and relatively young, which leads to her being referred to by the Obama campaign as "our Dr. Rice." She's a noted foe of the Iraq war and is known for favoring an immediate pull out.

Representative Tim Roemer, 9/11 Commissioner -Roemer was a member of the 9/11 Commission. He was a candidate for chair of the Democratic National Committee but lost out to Howard Dean, largely because he was considered too centerist for the job.

He actually was fairly moderate (a congressman from Indiana), unless things have changed and is one of the few people on this list without major ties to the Carter or Clinton Administration.

Jim Steinberg, former Deputy National Security Advisor - Another Clinonista, the former Deputy National Security Advisor.

This leaves off people like Samantha Power, Robert Malley, Zbignew Brezhinski, Daniel Kurzer and Dennis Ross who are still hanging around and will definitely be part of an Obama Administration.

What we basically have here is a whole slew of people associated with the Carter and Clinton foreign policies, which were not exactly noted for defending the country. To paraphrase an old joke, you goes into the votin' booth and you takes your choice.

Seventh Haditha Marine Acquitted

U.S. Marine, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani had charges dropped Tuesday in the so-called Haditha massacre case.

The military judge, Colonel Steven Folsom ruled that there was a conflict of interest when Lieutenant General James Mattis allowed Colonel John Ewers, who helped investigate Chessani and thus became a potential witness for the prosecution, join in the original discussions about whether to file charges in the case.

“Unlawful command influence is the mortal enemy of military justice. The appearance of unlawful command influence is as devastating as actual manipulation of a trial,” said Folsom.

Just for the record,Chessani, a decorated marine on his third tour of duty in Iraq wasn't even at the scene when the alleged 'incident' took place.

I actually expected Chessani to get some mild admin charges as a scapegoat, just so the Marine brass could save a little face, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the Marines step up and admit that this was a gross miscarriage of justice.

That makes seven out of eight. I hope every one of them sues John Murtha and TIME for libel.

That leaves only one defendant, Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich...and the military judge at Wuterich's preliminary hearing has already written that he doubts a conviction is possible because of lack of forensic evidence and unreliable statements by say the least.

This was a travesty of justice from the beginning, and these brave men had no business being second-guessed in combat by a Leftard Congressman and the dinosaur media.The Marines owe them an apology (at the very least) for what they were forced to go through before being vindicated.

Semper Fi and congratulations,gentlemen. I'm sure Wuterich will be the next one to have his case kicked out of court.

And by the way,compare the way the dinosaur media is treating this with the way they ran full banner headlines about the 'massacre' when the story first came out....and the way they conducted a trial by media in advance.

Absolutely disgraceful.

An Ill-Advised Temporary Cease Fire

Confirming long standing rumors, Israel and Hamas today announced a temporary ceasefire today that is due to go into effect at 0600 hours local time Thursday,June 19th.The agreement was midwifed by Egypt's Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman, and is supposed to last for six months. So..let's see what we've got here...

The basic agreement goes as follows:

  • Hamas will end rocket fire and other attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip from all the various terrorist factions headquartered there. In exchange, Israel will end it's military operations within the Gaza Strip. There's been some noise about extending this to the West Bank, but since the IDF is the only thing keeping Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas safe from being toppled by Hamas, that won't happen unless the current negotiations between the two Palestinian terrorist factions bear fruit. Simple enough so far, a temporary agreement to end active hostilities on both sides.

  • Hamas is supposed to end the smuggling of weapons and military know-how into the Strip and stop sending people for training in Iran. In addition, the Israelis insist that Hamas stop making rockets, missiles, and sophisticated explosive devices, stop digging the arms smuggling tunnels , and end the building of Hezbollah-style military fortifications. I'd say the odds are roughly 150% that Hamas will violate this part of the deal out of hand.

  • Egypt will do its part to help implement item two by using its intelligence and operational forces all along the Sinai Peninsula and at sea in order to destroy smuggling tunnels and stop the smuggling of arms, explosives and trained terrorists into the Gaza Strip. Considering that Egypt was supposed to be doing this all along as part of the agreement whereby the Israelis left Gaza, I have my doubts about the Egyptians following through on this, even assuming they wanted to in the first place.

  • If the ceasefire holds for a decent interval of several days,Israel will gradually open the Gaza crossings to the transfer of goods. However, the main Rafah Crossing is only supposed to be opened after an agreement is made about some kind of 'monitoring mechanism' for the crossing between the Egyptians, the Palestinian Authority (Mahmoud Abbas' people,) and those wonderful EU international observers who ran to Israel at the first sign of problems instead of taking their chances with the Palestinians they're so supportive of.This will lead to the Karni and Sufa Crossings being opened upto traffic as well.

  • After the opening of the Karni and Sufa Crossings but before the Rafah Crossing is opened to Gaza residents, negotiations on freeing kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit will be `accelerated' - which means that the Palestinians will get a fair amount of murderers released from Israeli custody in exchange for Shalit, subject to haggling about whom and how many. Hamas currently wants 350 terrorists in exchange.

This truce is ill-advised on many levels from Israel's standpoint, most of which I've already pointed out. It's important, first of all, to realize that this is not a ceasefire agreement the two parties have actually signed with each other, it's a series of pledges they've each made to the Egyptians.There not a chance that Hamas will abide by the parts of the deal involving ending its military buildup or the smuggling and manufacture of heavy weapons, and the Egyptians will likely be as effective in enforcing it as they were before, which is to say hardly at all.

Egypt of course gets what it wants out of the deal,which was to head off an Israeli-Hamas war that could have involved Hamas blowing up Egypt's border wall again and sending thousands of Palestinians streaming into Egypt.

Hamas gets a desperately needed breather to regroup, retrain and replenish its arms supplies.

The Israelis get, essentially, a short period of quiet. Israel's inept leadership was unable to even get Gilad Shalit thrown into the deal as a condition...they'll still have to pay an obscene price for him they want him back,and a message has been sent to Hamas,Hezbollah and others that kidnapping operations like this can be profitable.

The Olmert/Livni/Barak government also gets the benefit of a short period of quiet, which they're hoping will benefit them politically, even if it's harmful for the country in the long term.

That in itself may be the best reason for Israel to go along with this.Th eKnesset meets next week to vote on dissolving itself to go toearly elections, an dthere's a fairly reasonable certainty it will pass.

A war with Hamas is just over the horizon, as sure as the sun rises. Costly as the delay will be, it would clearly be better for Israel to go to war with very different leadership than it has now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Watcher's Council Nominations, 6/17/08

Every week, the Watcher's Council members nominate two posts each, one of their own and one from outside the group 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, the infamous Watcher of Weasels

Do take the time to check out the non-Council links available at the Watcher's site as well - they're always worthwhile.

So here's this week's Council lineup...enjoy!

A Rose By Any Other Name -- Tiptoeing Around Jihad Joshuapundit - As Steve Emerson revealed, both the Department of Homeland Security and the State department are urging officials to avoid words like "jihad," "mujahedeen" , "Islamist' or any reference to Islam or Muslims in relationship to terrorism,as well as other verbal acrobatics designed to promote the 'hearts and minds'factor among Muslims, avoid the idea that the West is in conflict with the Muslim world, and to eliminate the glamor and religious aura surrounding Islamic fascism.

I see this as not only counterproductive and wrongheaded, but dangerous for a number of reasons....

What the Free World Would Do Well To Emulate The Colossus of Rhodey - What Hube thinks the free world should emulate is our First Amendment protection. As he points out, using quotations from a book by the puerile ex-NYT columnist Anthony Lewis some on the Left would like to relax the current Supreme Court guidelines,which draw the line at speech that is meant to incite imminent violations of law (Dennis V. United States, Schenk V. United States) and extend it to cover speech that incites violations of law that need not meet the current 'clear and present danger' test...with activist Leftist judges, of course, deciding who's crossed the line.

My Mother-in-Law The Democrat The Razor - Ernest K Doe had a few things to say about his does The Razor! If it's any consolation Scott, my mother, a life-long Democrat activist is voting for Obama too,and no amount of fact I could provide her with is going to change that.

Just Once Done With Mirrors - Callimachus honors Father's Day by musing about the kind of article celebrating the holiday he'd like to see in the dinosaur media.

The Cult of Global Warming Hillbilly White Trash - Lemuel takes on the warmies with a quote: "..the left will not give up the myth of human-caused global warming until they find another hobgoblin with which to terrorize the population into surrendering their wealth and freedom."

Metaphorically Shooting Soccer Dad - This week,Soccer Dad has fun taking Obama's 'they bring a knife we'll bring a gun' gaffe to its ultimate absurdity.

Say It Loud, Say It Proud: I Am a Racist! *UPDATED* Bookworm Room - Ms. Bookworm likewise focuses on a major theme of the Obama campaign...that if you aren't voting for the Chosen One, you must be racist. A fine piece I linked to earlier in the week that kinda reminds me of a Jeff Foxworthy routine!

The End of Guilt? The Glittering Eye - OK, I admit to being sincerely flattered...this week, Dave focuses his laser beam intellect on my piece last week, The Chicken or the Egg?, which examined why Islam clings to brutal practices like honor killings and why it will be difficult if not impossible for it to change. Dave expanded that to muse on the differences between a 'shame' culture like Islam and what he calls 'guilt' cultures of the West, which he feels was a driving force behind creating liberal democracy...and wonders whether liberal democracy can survive in what he calls a post-Christian world.

R. Kelly: I Believe He's a Platinum Predator Rhymes With Right - This week Greg looks at the acquittal of singer R.Kelly on charges of child pornography..and doesn't buy the verdict in the least.

Admitting Defeat in the Rhetoric War Cheat Seeking Missiles - Laer also noticed, as I did,the farcical nature of the current occupant of the White House's mea culpa in the London Times this week.I agree with him that rhetoric, properly used can be a vital tool,and President Bush's almost pathological inability to communicate policy to his fellow Americans in an accessible form was unfortunate.

However,I'd say his tendency to spout off bellicose rhetoric and what appeared to be definitive statements of policy and then not follow through on them was an even bigger disappointment.

Judicial Activism Run Amok Wolf Howling - GW does a typically excellent job of exposing Boumediene v. Bush, the recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision that gave enemy combatants the Constitutional right of habeus corpus to challenge their detentions in federal courts, reversing its own clear precedents ( as well as common sense)in the process.

I agree entirely with Justice Scalia's evisceration of this gross stupidity - Americans will die because of it.

The New College Major: "Fat Studies" The Education Wonks - Edwonk looks at the latest exercise in liberal arts specialty studies. Ummm, it's a huge field.