Iraq Rationale

Wrongly believing the point of the Iraq War was WMD, many now believe it "wasn't worth it", according to polls, presumably as stockpiles of WMD were not found -- never mind that Hussein chose to be deliberately ambiguous if not outright misleading in that regard, in defiance of UN disarmament resolutions.

And never mind the intent to restart the programs once the crumbling sanctions and UN inspections regime came to an end.

But WMD were not the sole rationale for the war.

When these other reasons are given, it is attacked as a "shifting rationale", as if the other reasons were dreamed up as an ex post facto justification after no WMD stockpiles were found. That too is wrong.

Or, even if the additional reasons are conceded to make sense, it is claimed they are being made by outside apologists, and that there is no evidence the administration itself actually had any of these ideas in mind, so Bush is not given credit for any obvious strategic advantages that may arise from the operation.

It is easy, however, to show that's all wrong.

The administration enunciated many complex and important reasons for the Iraq invasion, before the war even started.

Let's go right to the primary sources.

I will quote from a speech given by Bush himself on February 26, 2003 -- about a month before the invasion began. These remarkes were delivered at the Washington Hilton Hotel, apparently to an American Enterprise Institute audience.

I will also use a raw Vanity Fair interview transcript with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, considered one of the chief architects of the Iraq policy, conducted on May 9, 2003 -- just 7 weeks into the operation and before the lack of WMD stockpiles became an issue.

As a preamble, both stress that an entirely new strategy was needed in the Middle East after 9/11: we could no longer just respond to attacks after they happened, but rather had to transform the region:
Bush: On a September morning, threats that had gathered for years, in secret and far away, led to murder in our country on a massive scale. As a result, we must look at security in a new way, because our country is a battlefield in the first war of the 21st century.

We learned a lesson: The dangers of our time must be confronted actively and forcefully, before we see them again in our skies and in our cities. And we set a goal: we will not allow the triumph of hatred and violence in the affairs of men.
A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions. America's interests in security, and America's belief in liberty, both lead in the same direction: to a free and peaceful Iraq.

Wolfowitz: You know it's completely out in the open who holds what views in this Administration. You couldn't be more transparent about what the arguments are. The most significant thing that has produced what is admittedly a fairly significant change in American policy is the events of September 11th which are going to count as one of the -- If you had to pick the ten most important foreign policy things for the United States over the last 100 years it would surely rank in the top ten if not number one. It's the reason why so much has changed, and people who refuse to look at that, for whatever reason, or are unwilling to face up to the implications of that then go around and look for some nefarious explanation. But it's shameful.
I know my thinking at that point was that the old approach to terrorism was not acceptable any longer. The old approach being you treat it as a law enforcement problem rather than a national security problem. You pursue terrorists after they've done things and bring them to justice, and to the extent states are perhaps involved, you retaliate against them but you don't really expect to get them out of the business of supporting terrorism completely. To me what September 11th meant was that we just couldn't live with terrorism any longer.

Throughout the '80s and '90s it was sort of, I've never found quite the right words because necessary evil doesn't describe it, but a sort of an evil that you could manage but you couldn't eliminate. And I think what September 11th to me said was this is just the beginning of what these bastards can do if they start getting access to so-called modern weapons, and that it's not something you can live with any longer. So there needs to be a campaign, a strategy, a long-term effort, to root out these networks and to get governments out of the business of supporting them. But that wasn't something that was going to happen overnight.

Q: Right. So Iraq naturally came to the top of the list because of its history and the weapons of mass terror and all the rest, is that right?

Wolfowitz: Yes, plus the fact which seems to go unremarked in most places, that Saddam Hussein was the only international figure other than Osama bin Laden who praised the attacks of September 11th.
So basically they knew immediately that the Middle East and all the old strategic thinking had to be changed, and so somebody else in the region had to get taken down. Of the many candidates, Iraq seemed the best choice for several reasons, which they then elaborate upon.

1. One reason, of course, was Hussein's WMD aspirations:
Bush: In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world -- and we will not allow it. (Applause.) This same tyrant has close ties to terrorist organizations, and could supply them with the terrible means to strike this country -- and America will not permit it. The danger posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons cannot be ignored or wished away. The danger must be confronted. We hope that the Iraqi regime will meet the demands of the United Nations and disarm, fully and peacefully. If it does not, we are prepared to disarm Iraq by force. Either way, this danger will be removed.

The safety of the American people depends on ending this direct and growing threat.

Wolfowitz: The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue [WMD] that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason....
But there were many other recognized reasons.

2. Another reason -- tied directly to the 9/11 attacks as a stated grievance of bin Laden's -- was to be able to remove American troops from Saudi Arabia, where they were needed to enforce the terms of the First Gulf War:
Wolfowitz: There are a lot of things that are different now, and one that has gone by almost unnoticed--but it's huge--is that by complete mutual agreement between the U.S. and the Saudi government we can now remove almost all of our forces from Saudi Arabia. Their presence there over the last 12 years has been a source of enormous difficulty for a friendly government. It's been a huge recruiting device for al Qaeda. In fact if you look at bin Laden, one of his principle grievances was the presence of so-called crusader forces on the holy land, Mecca and Medina. I think just lifting that burden from the Saudis is itself going to open the door to other positive things.

I don't want to speak in messianic terms. It's not going to change things overnight, but it's a huge improvement.

Q: Was that one of the arguments that was raised early on by you and others that Iraq actually does connect, not to connect the dots too much, but the relationship between Saudi Arabia, our troops being there, and bin Laden's rage about that, which he's built on so many years, also connects the World Trade Center attacks, that there's a logic of motive or something like that? Or does that read too much into --

Wolfowitz: No, I think it happens to be correct.
3. And to make progress on the Israel-Palestine issue:
Bush: Without this outside support for terrorism, Palestinians who are working for reform and long for democracy will be in a better position to choose new leaders. (Applause.) True leaders who strive for peace; true leaders who faithfully serve the people. A Palestinian state must be a reformed and peaceful state that abandons forever the use of terror.

For its part, the new government of Israel -- as the terror threat is removed and security improves -- will be expected to support the creation of a viable Palestinian state -- (applause) -- and to work as quickly as possible toward a final status agreement. As progress is made toward peace, settlement activity in the occupied territories must end. (Applause.) And the Arab states will be expected to meet their responsibilities to oppose terrorism, to support the emergence of a peaceful and democratic Palestine, and state clearly they will live in peace with Israel.

Wolfowitz: The other thing is trying to get some progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. I do think we have a better atmosphere for working on it now than we did before in all kinds of ways. Whether that's enough to make a difference is not certain, but I will be happy to go back and dig up the things I said a long time ago which is, while it undoubtedly was true that if we could make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue we would provide a better set of circumstances to deal with Saddam Hussein, but that it was equally true the other way around that if we could deal with Saddam Hussein it would provide a better set of circumstances for dealing with the Arab-Israeli issue.
4. And to remove instability in a vital region:
Bush: Acting against the danger will also contribute greatly to the long-term safety and stability of our world. The current Iraqi regime has shown the power of tyranny to spread discord and violence in the Middle East.

Wolfowitz: I said on the record, I don't understand how people can really believe that removing this huge source of instability is going to be a cause of instability in the Middle East.

I understand what they're thinking about. I'm not blind to the uncertainties of this situation, but they just seem to be blind to the instability that that son of a bitch was causing. It's as though the fact that he was paying $25,000 per terrorist family and issuing regular threats to most friendly governments in the region and the long list of things was of no account and the only thing to think about was that there might be some inter-communal violence if he were removed.
5. And to relieve the suffering of the Iraqi people under both the embargo and the tyranny:
Bush: The first to benefit from a free Iraq would be the Iraqi people, themselves. Today they live in scarcity and fear, under a dictator who has brought them nothing but war, and misery, and torture. Their lives and their freedom matter little to Saddam Hussein -- but Iraqi lives and freedom matter greatly to us.

Wolfowitz: ...there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two.
6. And to spread democracy, to reduce future conflict:
Bush: The world has a clear interest in the spread of democratic values, because stable and free nations do not breed the ideologies of murder. They encourage the peaceful pursuit of a better life. And there are hopeful signs of a desire for freedom in the Middle East....A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region.
7. And to provide an ideological counterweight in Shia Islam to Iran:
Wolfowitz: We've understood very clearly that Iraq, especially the Shia population of Iraq, is both a source of danger and opportunity to the Iranians. I think it's more danger than it is opportunity. But the danger itself is incentive for them to try to intervene because the last thing they want to see, which I think is a real possibility, is an independent source of authority for the Shia religion emerging in a country that is democratic and pro-Western.

Q: That's a --

Wolfowitz: There's going to be a huge struggle for the soul of Iraqi Shiism, there's no question about it.
8. And to strengthen the diplomacy of international institutions by backing up words with the credible threat of force:
Bush: In confronting Iraq, the United States is also showing our commitment to effective international institutions. We are a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. We helped to create the Security Council. We believe in the Security Council -- so much that we want its words to have meaning.
High-minded pronouncements against proliferation mean little unless the strongest nations are willing to stand behind them -- and use force if necessary. After all, the United Nations was created, as Winston Churchill said, to "make sure that the force of right will, in the ultimate issue, be protected by the right of force."

Another resolution is now before the Security Council. If the council responds to Iraq's defiance with more excuses and delays, if all its authority proves to be empty, the United Nations will be severely weakened as a source of stability and order. If the members rise to this moment, then the Council will fulfill its founding purpose.

Q: And Iraq. When I think about it, these other three [North Korea, Syria, and Iran] that have now been brought up, being discussed, have actually been very kind of multinational and diplomatic and yet it's partly the threat of force that seems to strengthen the approach, doesn't it?

Wolfowitz: There's no question that in certain -- First of all, diplomacy that it's just words is rarely going to get you much unless you're dealing with people who basically share your values and your interests.
9. And to serve as a warning by making an example of someone:
Bush: And by acting, we will signal to outlaw regimes that in this new century, the boundaries of civilized behavior will be respected.
And other regimes will be given a clear warning that support for terror will not be tolerated.
The war opponents have worked hard to make that strategic goal come to naught.

10. And to sever links between Iraq and terrorists:
Bush: The passing of Saddam Hussein's regime will deprive terrorist networks of a wealthy patron that pays for terrorist training, and offers rewards to families of suicide bombers.

Wolfowitz: That second issue about links to terrorism is the one about which there's the most disagreement within the bureaucracy, even though I think everyone agrees that we killed 100 or so of an al Qaeda group in northern Iraq in this recent go-around, that we've arrested that al Qaeda guy in Baghdad who was connected to this guy Zarqawi whom Powell spoke about in his UN presentation.
That makes 9 coherent reasons, other than the soundbite of WMD that has been myopically focused upon by the MSM, with an underlying long-term strategy stemming directly from the implications of 9/11.

So it's not like key administration officials didn't explain the whole thing three years ago!

Some critics have found something sinister in the idea that the administration considered removing Hussein right after 9/11, as if they were cynically using that as an excuse to do something they wished to do for nefarious reasons -- picking on poor old Saddam to get his oil!

Instead, we see it as an important cornerstone to a rational policy of long-term American interests and security.

Deadly Arrogance

The preening moral dwarves have struck again.
TWA Hijacker Released From German Prison
Not merely a hijacker, this vermin also brutally murdered an American citizen, Robert Stethem, who was onboard the plane and a mere 23 years old.
BEIRUT, Lebanon - A Lebanese man serving a life sentence in Germany for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jetliner and killing of a U.S. Navy diver has returned to Lebanon after being paroled in Germany, security and guerrilla officials said Tuesday.
The "guerrillas" have "officials", do they? This level of diplomatic recognition is in itself repugnant.

The cowardly and arrogant euroweenies didn't extradite the murdere to the United States, because he MIGHT have been executed.
U.S. authorities had requested his extradition so he could stand trial in the United States, but the Germans, who have no death penalty, insisted on prosecuting Hamadi.
They were more concerned about the well being of this terrorist scum than about the victim, choosing to make some ridiculous empty gesture about their moral superiority.

Their concern was bizarrely misplaced. It's evil to worry so much about the evil at the expense of the good.

Well that line about life in prison instead of execution is supposed to include the "wihtout parole" clause. Even then, it's a weak argument that life in prison is better.

And these morons just made their own argument worse, because the counterclaim was always that some future government out of political expediency would release the dangerous terrorists back into the bloodstream of the civilized world like a toxin.

And now we have PROOF that that's EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS.
It was not known where Hamadi, who spent 19 years in prison, went after entering Lebanon.
So first, he didn't even get 20 years for hijacking and murder. Not long ago such piracy and anti-civilizational behavior was met with a noose on the spot, with good reason.

And worse, they don't know where he is.

Perhaps he's gone to weave baskets.

Or perhaps he's plotting to blow up the next plane your family is on.

Gosh, we just don't know, do we.

Hamadi's case came up for a court-mandated review, and he was released after an expert assessment and a hearing, said Doris Moeller-Scheu, spokeswoman for the Frankfurt, Germany, prosecutor's office.
Oh, I feel much better! And expert assessment!

Whose side are they on?

Maybe they thought he'd be a useful bargaining chip someday.
German Foreign Ministry spokesman Sgt. Schultz Martin Jaeger said there was no connection between Hamadi's release and the recent freeing of former hostage Susanne Osthoff, a German woman released over the weekend after spending more than three weeks as a captive in Iraq.

Wrong Script

Many have commented on the recent incidents at Australia's Sydney beaches.

The media insists on using the wrong script to characterize events:
SYDNEY (AFP) - Sydney's famous beaches were eerily quiet on a hot summer day as fears of a new eruption of racial violence were fuelled by the seizure of petrol bombs and other weapons.

Two thousand police in cars, boats and helicopters, on foot, bicycles and horseback, patrolled beaches hit by unprecedented race riots the previous Sunday between whites and mainly-Muslim Arab-Australians.
They keep calling them race riots. That immediately implies the majority "white" Australians are bad, and the muslim gangs are "good" and "oppressed" -- the old racism script.

To anyone who hasn't been under a rock the last few years (though all too many seem to enjoy living there, unfortunately), it's been clear this has nothing to do with race and everything to do with religion.

This is a religious war, not racism.

There's a huge difference.

Religions, being belief systems that are chosen by their believers, are perfectly legitimate targets of criticism and disapproval, as are those who believe them.

Race, on the other hand, of course isn't determinative of behavior, and is an invalid basis for making value judgments.

But it is not only valid, but obligatory, that we make value judgments based on what people choose to believe, if we are to keep our culture and civilization safe from attack and subversion.

The "racism" script however is designed to keep us from questioning who might be in the wrong in this case.

And it's clear that the beaches had been terrorized by muslim gangs who enjoyed raping women as the allah-sanctioned spoils of jihad, and of harrassing other women they felt were indecently dressed.

This has been going on for years, and it is only now that non-muslims decided to take them on and make a stand, because the PC authorities had let the problem get out of hand.

News reports still make it hard to understand the real underlying causes, instead painting this as simple ugly white supremacy.

But as Belmont Club notes, ignoring the problem in the name of multiculti tolerance only makes it fester until it explodes, and then, guess what, the innocent (i.e., Lebanese Christians) and guilty alike will be caught up in the whirlwind.

From the Police Logs

At one time I lived in Concord, Massachusetts. I just found an envelope in which I had collected clippings from the local paper from the police logs that I had found amusing, bizarre, or otherwise noteworthy as indicative of the issues facing small-town New England: namely, nosy busybodies with too much time on their hands.

These are all actual entries, circa 1997.

At 1:04 am, police investigated a loud noise complaing on Pilgrim Road. The residents were informeed that MBTA workers and street sweepers were in the area.

At 1:22 am a Fairhaven Road resident called police to complain of a loud noise in the area. The caller was informed that street sweepers had just driven down the street.
I could fill up the whole list with reports of loud railroad or maintenance workers, or of buses idling "too long".

What's this, a sighting of the first Flasher of Spring?
At 12:14 pm, police investigated reports of a suspicous person in the bushes at the library on Main Street.

At 8:02 pm a resident reported that a man exposed himself to her while she was jogging.

At 10:11 pm, police investigated reports of a suspicious person on Main Street.
That was the most serious incident since the series of 9 reports of mailbox vandalism over a weekend.

Usually it's more along these lines:
An anonymous caller reported that a spider was trapped inside a parking meter on Comm. Ave. Police investigated and removed the spider.

An anonymous caller thanked the police for taking care of the spider that was trapped in aparking meter on Comm. Ave. last week.

A Wellesley resident called police to report that she believed a bracelet stolen from her is in the window of a Concord store. Police accompanied her to the store, and found the claim to be unfounded.

Police responded to Monument Street to deliver a trespassing notice to a man refusing to leave a resident's property. The man told the resident that he wants to run for president and use the house for campaign headquarters.

Police were notified by a Concord resident of the lights being too bright on Commonwealth Avenue.

A Walden Street resident reported there were thousands of blackbirds across the street from her home and were making a lot of noise. The caller said she was not scared by the birds, she just wanted to make sure the police were aware of them.

Police responded to Comm. Ave. for a resident reporting that someone had showered at his home while he wasn't there. There was no sign of trespassing.

A Florio Drive resident reported that she believes someone entered her home and placed her cat in the attic.

An illegal transmission of a belching sounds on the police main frequency was heard.

A Central Street resident reported his telephone line is being "zapped." No more information was given.

A Bedford Street resident reported her garbage can lid was missing. Police helped her find it.

A Comm. Ave. resident reported that the outline of a body had been painted in the alley near his home.
Finally something interesting?
A Wolf Pine resident reported seeing a suspicous man driving a golf cart and carrying a shovel in the area of the Concord Country Club. Police found the man was maintaining the club's irrigation system.

A Wright Farm resident reported that he often walks near the prison at night and requested police give him a friendly wave when they pass him in order to assure him that police do not think he is an escapee. The caller was told that patrol officers would be advised of his request.
...and they'll get right to it as soon as they stop laughing!
At 12:04 pm, a man reported that a vehicle passed him at a high rate of speed and did not yield to him while he was in the crosswalk by the South Bridge Boat House on Main Street. He said he threw a pedestrian cone near the car.

At 12:36 pm, a driver reported that while passing the South Bridge Boat House, a man stepped into the road and hit her car with the pedestrian cone he was holding. The sign damaged the right front quarter of the car. Police are investigating the incident.
Hmmm, like the Worms and the Spice, could there be a connection between those reports???

Police were called to Sudbury Road for a report of a man in a tutu walking along the street. Police spoke with the man, who was wearing a woman's style swimsuit and tennis skirt, and said he was just going for a walk.
Ok, that's a little weird and perhaps worthy of investigation, but what about these?
At 1:31 pm, a caller reported a suspicious person in the Pine Hill Lane area. The person was out for a walk.

At 2:04 pm, police investigated a report of a suspicious person in St. Bernard's Cemetery. An officer spoke with the man who was just walking.

At 5:55 pm, police resonded to Lowell Road for a report of a suspicious man sitting in a car at the Brooks Pharmacy parking lot. The man was waiting for his wife who was shopping.

Police investigated a report of a suspicous person in a car at the Hapgood Wright Forest. The woman was just sitting in her vehicle singing.

Police responded to Monsen Road for a report of a person sitting in a car on the street. The woman is considering purchasing a home on the street and told police she was sitting there to observe the noise and traffic at night.

Police received a report of a man acting strangely near Route 2. The man was practicing tai chi on the side of the road to help his back problems.

A resident reported a suspicious car at the Alcott School. Police confirmed it was a police car.
There are too many more like that to list them all.

Police work is hard, but there are perks:
At 11:18 am, police received a box of chocolates.

At 2:45 pm, the Middlesex School dropped off two cakes and an apple pie at the police station, and Scimone Farms left apples.

At 3:36 pm, a resident left chocolates, coffee, and biscotti -- a holiday gift -- in the police station.

At 5:07 pm, police recieved a turkey and other food from Concord Academy. Police later received a deli tray and soda from a resident.
Killjoys abound:
A caller reported three people were throwing rocks into White Pond, possibly trying to hit a buoy. Police found three people who had been fishing from the shore. They said they had been skipping stones when a woman yelled at them to stop.

An anonymous caller requested that police keep an extra watch on the Old Marlboro and Williams roads area in order to speak to two joggers who run side-by-side every day. The caller said she felt this was a safety issue.

A caller reported that a neighbor's dog would not let him pass on Garfield Road when he was jogging. The matter was turned over to the dog officer.

A resident reported driving by a group of people in Lincoln near Walden Pond who appeared to be ignoring someone who needed medical attention. The people were students from Emerson College making a short movie.
The movie, no doubt, being about how quickly Concord residents respond to the slightest hint of deviancy.
A Harrington Avenue resident reported that her children confronted an unknown woman digging up flowers in her yard. The woman said she was "fixing" the flowers.
Right. And I'm "adjusting" your breasts.

As for adding insult to injury:
At 12:46 pm an Upland Road resident reported that his lawn has been damaged the previous night and several times in the past few months by cars driving over it.

At 10:02 am, police investigated the larceny of markers placed on the lawn of an Upland Road residence to prevent vehicles from driving on his land. The resident also reported that a vehicle had driven on his land.
Everyone wants to be Thoreau:
A Cottage Street resident reported a man had built a lean-to on private property behind his house. The man told police he is homeless and frequents the Cambridge area but comes to Concord when his job as a graphic designer becomes stressful.
And those darn kids!
At 7:54 pm, police resonded to Westford Road for a complaing of boys building a tree fort and making noise hammering. The boys agreed to stop work for the night.

At 11:15 am, police investigatd a report of kids having acookout in the parking lot at the high school. They were not violating any fire codes. They moved to the Hapgood Wright parking lot.

At 8:40 pm, an Everett Gardens resident reported several youths playing with what sounded like cap guns outside. Police checked the area but found nothing.

Police responded to Thoreau Street for a report of a group of youths with eggs. The teenagers were having afriendly egg fight, and there was no damage to nearby buildings or property.

At 6:35 pm, a caller reported that several skateboarders were "doing dangerous things" behind the Harvey Wheeler Community Center. Police resonded and spoke with four youths, who agreed to call it a night.
I love this one:
Police responded to a 911 call from the West Concord Supermarket. The caller stated that a man was acting very suspiciously and representing himself as a news reporter. Police spoke with the man, who is a reporter for USA today.
Welcome to Concord, buddy!


Try as they might to avoid it, some good news is seeping through the MSM filters. There must be so much of it, they can't stop it all!

First, the economy:
Dow's glide to 11,000 looks smooth
Then, Iraq policy:
Poll: Many Oppose Immediate Iraq Exit
Of course, they try to spin it as a drop in support, but it's still a solid majority.

And the headline-writer, perhaps due to the recent successful elections there, just couldn't find the cynicism to emphasize that point, it would seem!

And then W issues a smackdown:
WASHINGTON - President Bush said Saturday he personally has authorized a secret eavesdropping program in the U.S. more than 30 times since the Sept. 11 attacks and he lashed out at those involved in publicly revealing the program.

"This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security," he said in a radio address delivered live from the White House's Roosevelt Room.

"This authorization is a vital tool in our war against the terrorists. It is critical to saving American lives. The American people expect me to do everything in my power, under our laws and Constitution, to protect them and their civil liberties and that is exactly what I will continue to do as long as I am president of the United States," Bush said.
Soem people want to stay in an infantile fantasy land when real lives and even our entire way of life, is at stake.

Tookie Must Die


When's it Mumia's turn?

Signs of Victory

Increasingly there are positive signs in the anti-jihad struggle.

First, we have a rift among the terrorists in Iraq:
The influential Sunni Muslim Scholars Association urged their large community to boycott the "illegal" polls in January.

Nearly one year on, the group has so far been officially neutral but some of its members have called participation in the polls a "religious duty".
Saddam loyalists have turned against Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant whose fighters travel to Iraq from across the Arab world to blow themselves up in a bid to spark sectarian civil war.

"Zarqawi is an American, Israeli and Iranian agent who is trying to keep our country unstable so that the Sunnis will keep facing occupation," said a Baathist insurgent leader who would give his name only as Abu Abdullah.
Whatever, Abu, if that excuse helps you sleep at night. Works for me.

Second, while Osama remains conspicuously silent (hmmm, wonder why...), Zawahiri has come out with some complaints:
CAIRO, Egypt - In a tape that surfaced Sunday, Osama bin Laden's deputy urged all Muslims to take up arms, saying a refusal to join the fight against "the Cross and Zionism" was a "malignant illness" that would lead to the defeat of militant Islam.
Complaining about conditions for defeat that clearly already exist is a position of weakness.
"As long as this malignant illness continues to survive within us, there is no hope for victory and there can only be more defeats, tragedies, disasters and betrayals," al-Zawahri said.
Aw, been getting defeats, tragedies, disasters, and betrayals?

(I don't know why, but they've recently changed the spelling of his name in news reports, dropping one of the "i"s.)

After spinning a fantasy about Mullah Omar controlling much of Afghanistan, he then rants about the Saudis, who might actually be doing something useful for once:
Al-Zawahri also criticized the lack of support for al-Qaida-linked militants in Saudi Arabia, saying the mujahedeen had suffered "defeat" in Saudi authorities' high-profile campaign against militants.

"These idolatrous regimes achieve victory over us because each one of us wants to save his own skin and avoid harm for himself," al-Zawahri said on the tape.
This is all excellent news.

To The End

A tidbit:
BUCHAREST (AFP) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed a historic agreement with Romania to establish permanent US military bases in the country, the first ever in a former Warsaw Pact nation.
Times are changing.
Romania has 860 troops with the US-led coalition in Iraq, as well as soldiers in Afghanistan. Romanian President Traian Basescu said at the press conference his country would stay with the Americans "to the end" of the mission.

NORAD Tracking Santa

What an incredible site! NORAD tracks Santa Claus.

There's music, videos, maps, countdowns, downloads...and it's all cool!
This is the 50th Anniversary that NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa. The tradition began after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. store advertisement for children to call Santa on a special "hotline" included an inadvertently misprinted telephone number. Instead of Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first "Santa" call on Christmas Eve 1955. Realizing what had happened, Colonel Shoup had his staff check radar data to see if there was any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed there were signs of Santa and children who called were given an update on Santa's position. Thus, the tradition was born.
NORAD has adapted and upgraded its Santa Tracking Technology:
NORAD uses four high-tech systems to track Santa - radar, satellites, Santa Cams and jet fighter aircraft.

It all starts with the NORAD radar system called the North Warning System. This powerful radar system has 47 installations strung across Canada's North and Alaska. NORAD makes a point of checking the radar closely for indications of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole on Christmas Eve.
Rudolph's nose gives off an infrared signature similar to a missile launch. The satellites can detect Rudolph's bright red nose with practically no problem. With so many years of experience, NORAD has become good at tracking aircraft entering North America, detecting worldwide missile launches and tracking the progress of Santa, thanks to Rudolph.

The third system we use is the Santa Cam. We began using it in 1998 - the year we put our Santa Tracking program on the Internet. NORAD Santa Cams are ultra-cool high-tech high-speed digital cameras that are pre-positioned at many places around the world. NORAD only uses these cameras once a year - Christmas Eve.
The last system we use is the NORAD jet fighter. Canadian NORAD fighter pilots, flying the CF-18, take off out of Newfoundland to intercept and welcome Santa to North America.
About a dozen NORAD fighters in Canada and the United States are equipped with Santa Cams.
NORAD explains how Santa accomplishes his task:
the only logical conclusion is that Santa somehow functions on a different time and space continuum.
Be sure to watch the ultra-cool 60-second promo video of NORAD tracking Santa here!

This is Totally Awesome!

The site is available in 6 languages.

Page 12 News

Normblog finds some interesting information buried on page 12 of a Saturday NYTimes story:
Earlier this week, a leading cleric in Falluja, Hamza Abbas al-Issawi, 70, considered the city's grand imam, who had urged Sunni Arabs to defy the insurgents and vote in the Dec. 15 elections for a full four-year national government, was shot and killed. He had received insurgent death threats in recent months.


In Falluja's mosques, angry residents have vowed in recent days to avenge the clerics' killings by hunting down Islamic extremists loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, America's most-wanted man in Iraq. The anger spread on Friday to fiery condemnations at the main weekly prayers at two of Baghdad's most militant Sunni Arab mosques.

At the Mother of All Battles Mosque in the west of the city, the preacher, Sheik Ali Abu Hassan, called the killers "murderers" and said believers should respond by voting in large numbers. At the Abu Hanifa Mosque in the eastern Adhamiya district, a stronghold of support for Iraq's ousted ruler, Saddam Hussein, the preacher, Sheik Ahmad al-Samarrai, said, "The election is both legitimate and necessary, and your duty to vote is heavier than a mountain."
As Normblog points out, that's in Falluja.

Some Random Stuff

Here's a fascinating site found via The Anchoress -- ordinary people mailing in postcards with their deepest secrets.

The economy grew at a whopping 4.3% rate last quarter, and the Dow is less than 1% shy of 11,000. So here are some headlines the New York Times is bound to use any day now.

In fact, for more on the sheer denial of good news in the economy and elsewhere, see this roundup by Dr. Sanity.

The President's job approval has jumped from 36% to 42% as gas prices have plummeted, which is lucky because, you know, if they fall under 30%, he gets frog-marched in handcuffs out of the White House and is summarily executed on national tv. Didn't you know?

Democrat Logic

In addition to
There aren't enough troops in Iraq, but they need to be withdrawn now
The unilateral coalition is crumbling
we now have this doozy of reasoning:
1. We cannot stay the course.

2. Staying the course means "not cutting and running."

3. Therefore we propose "not not cutting and running."

4. But we do not propose "cutting and running."
In symbols, the Democrat leadership and the MSM is asserting that
~~A <> A
which, of course, is a contradiction, as it reduces to
A does not equal A.
Proceeding from a contradiction, any proposition can be proved.

Welcome to the leftist mind, or what passes for it.

The point is, it's absolutely impossible, and irrational, to even to try to reason with people who willingly make such arguments.

Their axioms are different, and inconsistent, from ours.

Debate is no longer an option.

It is, at this point, foolish to even try.

Since it is demonstrable that logic cannot even in principle work with them, the next alternative is to use emotion.

I have lost all patience. Ridicule, scorn, and scathing sarcasm are the only rational verbal tactics left.

PC works through social ostracism. We must create a counterreaction. Here are some examples of some recent comments left on this blog by newcomers looking at old posts, and my uncharacteristically ungracious responses.

Example 1:

Sonic said...

"If handled improperly, the situation in Iraq could go from "today, one (Osama) bin Laden, next few years 10 bin Ladens, then 100 bin Ladens," the Dalai Lama said."

8:42 PM, November 06, 2005

RDS said...
Yes, you are quite desperate.

Do you understand the word "If"?

You'd like 100 bin Ladens, wouldn't you, Lenin-lover?

You've lost.

8:57 PM, November 06, 2005

Sonic said...
Great stuff mate, I might link to this excuse for a blog for the comedy value!

"Lenin lover"

comedy gold

10:33 PM, November 06, 2005

RDS said...
Go for it! It wouldn't be half as funny without your comments, thanks!
Sonic links admiringly on his own blog to a lefty site called "Leninstomb", hence my comment.

Example 2, from my Roadkill is Yummy! post about roadkill-eating anti-civilizationists:
Nate said...
Ya know, I just was looking for some tips on collecting road kill and happened to stumble upon your commentary. I must say the idea of eating road is gross, but compared with many of the chicken factories and pig factories I have seen it is not gross at all. What is gross to me is that I have to skin this creature, tear it's guts out, cut it up and eat it. That's all that is gross to me. But really I see this forum as not so much about debating the idea of eating road kill, but rather ragging on people who are different than you, people whom you don't understand. I must admit, I don't understand you. I don't understand what you mean by eco-weenies. Do you mean people who care about their world are some how weak people or bad people? But you are right about the gratitude part. I should be thankful that our people of this USA have it in their hearts not to torture me, enslave me, or in other words do nasty things to me. As for living in many other countries that is not true. I would be one of the first to be hung with my guts ripped open, I imagine. If I had the guts to stand up for my beliefs. Maybe they will start after people here sooner or later. Oh wait, there are hate crimes everyday in this country...and there are forums where people make fun of others just because they don't "get" them. And it sure is fun, isn't it? Well I sure enjoy the daily show and that does just that. But does it help us understand eachother? And that other guy sure does make a point about wolves. Why not go look up how many humans have been eaten by wolves in this country? Have you ever heard the wolves howl? It is beautiful. If you truly believe that things are going well for humanity and this planet right now, you are not paying very good attention to the world around you. Go educate yourself.

5:15 PM, October 21, 2005

RDS said...

You have deliberately missed the point; this is not about grossness but the politics it represents.

You say you don't understand me.

That's because you are incapable of basic thought and don't know anything.

What's an "eco-weenie"? Someone like you who, yes, is a "weak" and "bad" person. And who is ignorant of scientific facts.

If you and your ilk really "cared about the world", you'd be for clean, cheap energy which means nuclear power. And you'd be for eliminating the scourge of Islamic fascism.

Instead, you make a stupid equivalency between your hysterical claims of "hate crimes" in this country with the very real, socially accepted evils of stoning women or murdering them for "honor".

And yes, fool, things are going well, compared with the past. But you wouldn't know that, since you are not educated.

I laugh at you! You are so funny! Have you considered a career as a jester or some sort of clown?

6:49 PM, October 23, 2005
Let us wield our contempt for their dangerous ignorance proudly.

Look, for example, at the website of this dumpster-diving sick freak and terror-enabler. I won't even quote his drivel; scroll down for the revealing "statement of identity."

Having It All Ways

Oh, so now we're leading a "coalition"!
U.S.-Led Iraq Coalition Steadily Eroding
And all along, I thought the AP was telling me this was a "unilateral", allyless expedition.

Wait, it gets better!
Bulgaria and Ukraine will begin withdrawing their combined 1,250 troops by mid-December. If Australia, Britain, Italy, Japan, Poland and South Korea reduce or recall their personnel, more than half of the non-American forces in Iraq could be gone by next summer.
Note the "IF".

So, the story line is, we need an "exit strategy" to reduce troop levels, but if troops actually come home, it's a -- steadily! -- "eroding" coalition...and a coalition which, due to our unilateral action, never existed in the first place.

They don't even bother to try to be consistent.

The tagline for this story in the link above is the opinion and emotion-laden "iraq_crumbling_coalition."

It's truly disturbing to see such venom harbored over the liberation of over 20 million human beings.

Oh yes, buried at the end we find this example of "steadily eroding" coalition support:
Many coalition members have pledged to stay in Iraq for all of 2006; at least one, Lithuania, has committed to the end of 2007. And the coalition is still drawing new members, most recently Bosnia, which sent 36 bomb-disposal experts in June.
Objectivity? What's that?

Facing Reality

We need a fence. Israel is already completing one. And it's creating certain realities:
JERUSALEM - Israel's border with a future Palestinian state will roughly follow the route of the contentious barrier Israel is building along and inside the West Bank, a top ally of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was quoted Thursday as saying.
"This is a very dangerous development and undermines the chances of permanent state negotiations," Erekat said. "This just proves that Israel wants to dictate and not negotiate."
Yes, the Palestinian side has just been SO open to peaceful negotiation...
Final borders and the fate of Jewish settlements in the West Bank are among the most contentious issues in negotiations. The barrier, when completed, would place 8 percent of the West Bank on the "Israeli" side by encompassing the major Jewish settlement blocs.
A mere 8 percent? They're lucky the Israelis don't just expel them and take it all -- they captured it by right of conquest and annexation of any or all of the West Bank would be perfectly within historical precedent; forcing border populations to move when lines are redrawn is something the Europeans of the 20th century are quite familiar with.
Livni's remarks are the latest by politicians who have joined forces with Sharon after he left his Likud Party last month to form a new, centrist movement in an effort to gain a free hand in negotiations with the Palestinians.
This maneuver by Sharon could be just what it takes to impose -- finally -- a settlement on the Palestinians, who never were honest negotiators and only wanted to establish Palestine in place of, rather than beside, Israel.

It's funny to see them squirm when they have to reject actual peace settlements!
The route of the barrier "also makes Jerusalem more Jewish," Ramon said. "The safer and more Jewish Jerusalem will be, it can serve as a true capital of the state of Israel."

Israel captured east Jerusalem along with the West Bank in 1967, but though Israel has always controlled west Jerusalem, most nations, including the United States, have their embassies in Tel Aviv.
Ah, this is the stuff that makes End-Timers salivate!

It's truly reprehensible we do not have our embassy in Jerusalem. What other country in the world is not allowed to name its own capital? I believe Congress has even passed resolutions to that end, but the State Department won't budge.

Someday soon, they're going to have to face reality at State, just like in Palestine.

Sedition Laws

The Aussies are leading the way in reviving anti-sedition laws -- this is absolutely vital, as it represents a cultural self-confidence that is necessary to survive, which has gone missing in too many places in the West:
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's conservative government has refused to drop strict sedition provisions from a raft of changes to counter-terrorism laws, despite fears from media groups that they will curb freedom of speech.
And the media is baffled that it was unable to stop it!
The laws upgrade the little-used offence of sedition so it attracts a seven-year jail term for threatening the "peace, order and good government of the commonwealth".

Media organisations and civil libertarians have called for the revived sedition laws to be dropped, arguing they are unnecessary as there has been no prosecution under the existing sedition provisions since 1960.
Well it's about time then, isn't it?
Ruddock said the laws would not limit media and political comment as they were drafted to specifically target people who advocated violence against the government.

"It's highly unlikely unless people are urging the use of force or violence to overthrow our democratic institutions or against one group of people involving another group of people, or our troops abroad," he told Sky News.
The media also doesn't like that it will be punished for giving up wartime secrets:
The Australian Press Council has warned that under the laws, journalists who report that a suspected terrorist has been detained by police could be jailed for five years.

The council said police would also have the power to detain journalists if this was deemed necessary to "preserve" evidence relating to a terrorist attack, and they would have free licence to enter newsrooms and seize journalists' notes.
The media need to stop being part of the problem.

Where the Aussies lead, we should follow.

Crazy Headline

Is this bias? Or stupidity?

The headline referring to Bush's speech on Iraq strategy, carps in the most ridiculous way possible:
Bush offers no date for Iraq victory
ANNAPOLIS, United States (AFP) - President George W. Bush sought to overcome mounting worries about his Iraq war strategy, but would not set a date for a US pullout, warning that victory requires "time and patience."
This is almost too boggling even to analyze.

Note the petulance, and ironic lack of patience, in childishly demanding a date for victory, as if that were ever possible.

Note also the equating of victory with pullout, which is either naive, or a deliberate attempt to create a meme that conflates the two in an Orwellian sense, as a declared pullout date is really a defeat.

It's beyond parody.

Giving Thanks

Let us be thankful for all that is Good.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wages of Illegals

Interesting post at Bernoulli Effect that looks at just how much those so-called "indispensible" low-wage illegal workers are to the farming economy:
Defenders of archaic work methods are just defending their comfortable niche; they never look at the big picture. Would produce cost more if there were no illegals to harvest it? Maybe or maybe not--newer, more efficient methods of getting the crop in might well be used; and think of the offsetting savings to be gained by eliminating the drain on our public school and public health systems.
So as Mark points out, raising the wages of the harvesters by 40 percent would result in only an eight dollar a year increase in the grocery bill of an average family. And it could quite possibly be less than that if productivity improvements are made.
It always amazed me how the left would essentially support exploitation of the workers at sub-par wages. Artificially low wages are not cost-free, and, as the above apparently demonstrates, not all that advantageous even in the short run.

We need a fence!

We Need A Fence

This organization states the obvious.

We need a fence!

Excerpts from a recent USA Today article:
Even at the Homeland Security Department, which opposes building a border-long fence, Secretary Michael Chertoff this fall waived environmental laws so that construction can continue on a 14-mile section of fence near San Diego that has helped border agents stem the flow of illegal migrants and drug runners.

"You have to be able to enforce your borders," says California Rep. Duncan Hunter, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He's proposing a fence from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas. "It's no longer just an immigration issue. It's now a national security issue."

Colin Hanna of says "there is incredible momentum on this issue," fueled by the specter of another Sept. 11. His group aired TV ads in Washington, D.C., this fall and plans more next year.


I was going to post this Friday, but now it's at LGF, so many of you have probably already seen it, but it's just so delicious I'm still going to post it here anyway.

Remember how two years ago, Johnny Depp decided he couldn't bear to live in American anymore?
"America is dumb, it's like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you, aggressive," he said.

"My daughter is four, my boy is one. I'd like them to see America as a toy, a broken toy."
So, he moved to France.

How's that working out for you, Johnny?

JOHNNY DEPP is so shocked by the riots raging through France, he's considering abandoning his home in the country.
"I went there (to France) to live because it seemed so simple.

"Now it's anything but. I don't know how they'll recover from this."
Where ya gonna go, Johnny?

How about Sweden?
Few areas in Sweden are worse hit by the current troubles than Malmö, the nation's third largest city. According to some estimates, the rapidly growing Muslim immigrant population may turn Malmö into a Muslim majority city within about ten years. It will be the first major Scandinavian city to enjoy this honor, although perhaps not the last. Native Swedes are leaving the city in droves, as crime is rampant and the police publicly admit they don't control all parts of the city. There are now gangs in Malmö specialized in assaulting old people visiting the graves of relatives. Robberies have increased with 50 % in Malmö only during the fall of 2004. The city is descending into general chaos. Fights in the city's movie theatres have become a recurrent problem. Numbers released in January 2005 indicate a sharp rise in the number of rape charges in Malmö. Thomas Anderberg, responsible for statistics at the Malmö Police, says there was a doubling of the number of reported rapes by ambush in 2004, following what was already a decade of steadily increasing numbers of sexual crimes.


Starting from the fall of 2005, the district of Hyllie will begin education in Arabic only for groups of immigrant preschool children. The idea is that once the children learn the language of their parents, it will become easier for them to learn Swedish as well. So the Swedish state paying for educating Swedish citizens on Swedish ground in Arabic is somehow supposed to increase integration. On the other hand, perhaps being good dhimmis and teaching in Arabic can stop one of the latest fads in Sweden: Burning schools. At least 139 schools in Sweden suffered arson attacks during 2002 alone. Such as a recent incident in Malmö, where three schools were put on fire during one night.
Two out of three charged with rape in Norway's capital are immigrants with a non-western background according to a police study. The number of rape cases is also rising steadily.
While 65 percent of those charged with rape are classed as coming from a non-western background, this segment makes up only 14.3 percent of Oslo's population. Norwegian women were the victims in 80 percent of the cases, with 20 percent being women of foreign background.
Gee, I wonder who those "immigrants" could be.

For The Record

I haven't blogged lately, not due to lack of news items, but due to being so outraged by them that I could not even type.

But just a quick note for the record, Rep. Murtha (D-PA) is a coward and a traitor and should be run out of town on a rail.

Cultural Confidence

den Beste points out the difficulties of the islamists in their reliance on the MSM to propagandize for them:
When publicity and mind-share are your only real weapons in a war, you eventually become caught between the Scylla of boredom and obscurity and the Charybdis of nearly universal aversion for you and your cause. This is often how terrorist campaigns begin to wind down.

We've begun to see that in Iraq. Revulsion for the terrorists among the Sunnis has led to more and more tips as to where the terrorists are hiding and more and more captures/killings of high level people. Between "clean out the snakes" operations like the current one in the upper Euphrates River region, and ongoing low level operations based on tips in places like Mosul, the terrorists have been suffering severe attrition.
It's true.

Ultimately, poll numbers don't matter, if you're dead.

But the ever-eloquent Aristides comments,
The danger is an admixture of Al'Qaeda's propaganda by deed with the feeling of Western guilt propagated by a cannabalistic media. Our narcissism is unusual in that, while we cannot pull ourselves away from the looking glass, it is a self-immolating fascination with abomination that keeps us rooted. Such self-disgust, reinforced by a media and academia that trade in it, are the only actors that can create the necessary environment for Western defeat. We may be periodically disturbed from our trance, through rioting or the occasional attack, and we may lash out in annoyance, but pulling ourselves away from self-obsession for any length of time is now almost impossible. How long before the roots take hold permanently? How long before our guilt, and the timid intertia it causes, transitions into decline?

Islamist terror is but one manifestation of rejectionist ideology--the most obvious and most visible (and therefore least problematic). The real danger comes from within. To withstand the inevitable viral assaults on our society indefinitely, we need to be bolstered by self-confidence and purpose--unfortunately, these are the virtues that are slowly being stripped away by our elite.

The cause in fact of a potential decline will be our academia, but the proximate cause will be an irresponsible and undiscerning media. Therefore, the media is a clear and present danger and must be engaged.
Emphasis mine.

As an example, we have the vile, disgusting, Jimmy Carter -- worst President ever!!!

Dr. Sanity analyzes,
Jimmy Carter is a very very dangerous human being. He is the very worse sort of pacifist; the kind that gives people who truly desire peace an extremely bad taste in their mouth. Because the foundation of his pacifism is a determined and incalculably cruel passivity and tolerance toward genuine evil in all its manifestations.

His is that deluded brand of pacifism that not only does not actually advance the cause of peace; but encourages, advocates, and even legitimizes the very leaders and thugs who are responsible for the oppression and enslavemust of millions of people all around the globe.
We must regain our cultural self-confidence.

Economic Powerhouse

Wow, there's an economic powerhouse out there!

What country's real GDP grew a whopping 52% last year, way ahead of any other country in the world?

China, perhaps?

No, China only grew about 9%; but they get all the press, don't they?

Who is this mystery engine of economic growth?

It was, of course, liberated Iraq.

And liberated Afghanistan put in a healty 7.5% growth.

And the media goes, ho hum.

Sistani's Good Decision

With puritanical islam on the move worldwide, it is not a surprise that it would be trying to gain a foothold in the re-alignment of Iraqi politics. Disturbing incidents by roving self-proclaimed morality police in places such as Basra have caused alarm, and some concern that we have simply swapped one tyrant for another.

Unless imposed from the top by a ruthless force, such as by the thug-backed regimes of the Taliban and the Iranian mullahs, however, the people generally don't want it.

And it looks like the Shiite establishment in Iraq isn't going to try to seize the reins of absolute power. This interesting tidbit from Iraqi blogger, Iraq the Model:
In an important step towards more credible and fair elections, senior cleric Ali al-Sistani announced through his office that he will refrain from receiving any of the political leaders running for office in the next elections and will reject the many requests made by many Iraqi politicians.

In my opinion, such steps constitute real support for the coming elections and a declaration on the part of the Ayatollah of his awareness of the previous mistake when politicians convinced the clergy into endorsing their lists which resulted in rendering the clergy liable for criticism from the public and affected its popularity rewarding the clergy with nothing but contempt from the people due to the poor performance of Jafari’s government.


Don’t think I’m saying that the religious factor has been totally excluded or neutralized for good but I’m trying to say that it’s being reduced in magnitude and influence and the its interference in politics will undoubtedly be less pronounced next time and this is what I believe in.


And I’d like to remind those who persist to say that Iraq is a failed case that next month we will have witnessed three democratic carnivals within only one year, on January, October and one yet to come on December and I believe this alone is a striking proof on the accomplishments of a nation that has just emerged from the horrors of 35 years of tyranny and suppression and what adds to the value of the proofs of this success is that more of the community factions have joined the march and I want to remind you also that we’re human and we do err, one elections is not enough to state whether we’re successful or not and it is dead wrong to judge a country this way; we’re moving forward and nothing can stop the progress, this something I’m damn sure of.
Many refuse to see, but great things are afoot.

The reality on the ground, both with the economy and with Iraq, will eventually be apparent to all, no matter how much the anklebiters try to deny it.

The ebb in Bush's polls has happened too early to help the Dems lie their way back into power in 2006.

It's a hell of a thing to have to finesse a major war on a timetable to outwit seditious Copperheads who are willing to tear this country down just to seize power.

But Bush just might be able to do it.

Worldwide Readers

Recently I've been having fun looking at the world-map of visitors to this site. I'm amazed to have readers from all over the globe!

Because the location is often given down to the city level, I can get a sense of how many unique readers from a given country are in a given batch of the last 100 that get reported.

Most, by far, are from the United States. Of course there are many throughout the South, the Heartland, and from Texas, but there are also readers in liberal bastions such as Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and even Madison, Wisconsin!

There seem to be at least half a dozen unique readers from Canada, from Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, B.C., and even the Northwest Territories.

There are also several from Australia (for example: Victoria, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territories -- which I never heard of!)

Rounding out the Anglosphere, visitors also arrive from the U.K. and New Zealand.

I have a surprising number of readers from Scandinavia; mostly from Sweden it seems, but also from Finland and Denmark.

There is a smattering of readers from South America, such as from Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile.

I also see small numbers of regular hits from Egypt, Singapore, Pakistan, and India!

Others have arrived from Israel, Japan, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain (including the Canary Islands), Italy, France, Estonia, Austria, and Russia.

And those are just from the last 100 or so visitors -- there are others as well!

Thanks, everyone, for reading!

Demonic Turing Test

It passed the Turing Test.

It was some time ago, perhaps the early 1980s. Probably summertime. I forget the location, but it might have been Maryland or Virginia.

There was a story in the newspaper, and its implications disturbed me greatly.

There had been a murder.

Some burnout, outcast-type teenagers had been dabbling with their understanding of Satanism. Heavy Metal and all that. Bored or whatever, some of them decided to lure another young student out into the woods.

One thing led to another, and the victim ended up being bound, and they gouged out his eyes, to see what it was like.

Leaving him there, calling for his Mother, the perpetrators then started to walk off.

But then something strange happened.

A crow cawed.

And the ringleader took that as a sign from Satan that their act had been noticed with favor, and that he was to go back and kill the victim as a human sacrifice.

Which he went and did.

And reading that story, that's when I knew.

Satan, the devil, was literally real.

And was active in this world.

Because it passed the Turing Test, didn't it?
The Turing test is a proposal for a test of a machine's capability to perform human-like conversation. Described by Alan Turing in the 1950 paper "Computing machinery and intelligence", it proceeds as follows: a human judge engages in a natural language conversation with two other parties, one a human and the other a machine; if the judge cannot reliably tell which is which, then the machine is said to pass the test. It is assumed that both the human and the machine try to appear human. In order to keep the test setting simple and universal (to explicitly test the linguistic capability of the machine instead of its ability to render words into audio), the conversation is usually limited to a text-only channel such as a teletype machine as Turing suggested or, more recently, IRC or IM.
Or, more archaically, the call of a carrion crow.

I realized that even if there had never been a Satan, then the actions of those teens had created him then and there, because the situation was indistinguishable from Satan's actual, literal existence, commanding his minions to work evil in the world.

Indeed, that evil act was the very manifestation of Satan himself. I didn't have the vocabulary at the time, but at the very least as a Meme, Satan lived. And acted.

The consequences are profound, when you think about it.

Little things matter.

There is indeed an overarching struggle of which we are all a part, like it or not.

The further consequences are even more startling.

For once the existence of Satan and literal demonic forces are accepted, then must there not, most likely, be also a God?

Or at least, might as well be?

Because (to invert a quip by Woody Allen), if there were only the Devil -- given that things here may be bad but could be much, much worse -- wouldn't Satan then have to be something of an Underachiever?

Still not sure?

Just look around at the deranged adherence to untenable assertions promulgated by the Left and MSM. Is not this the hallmark of Beelzebub, the Lord of Lies, stalking the world?

The Other Iraq

Don't miss the short video tv spots of thanks, direct to us from Kurdistan:
With a population of 5 million in an area larger than Switzerland or twice the size of New Jersey, it is surprising that this region remains largely undiscovered and commercially untapped.

The Government and the peoples of Kurdistan invite you to discover their peaceful region, a place that has practiced democracy for over a decade, a place where the universities, markets, cafes and fair grounds buzz with progress and prosperity and where the people are already sowing the seeds of a brighter future.
Will the MSM let us see these?

Deep Sleeper?

The Bad:
NEW YORK -- An Arabic translator for the Army may have secretly helped Iraqi insurgents by taking classified documents home from Iraq to Brooklyn, where he made a series of calls to numbers linked to the insurgency, a federal prosecutor said Monday.

The man was charged last month with falsifying his identity over many years, beginning when he entered the United States seeking political asylum sometime between 1978 and 1989. His alleged ties to the insurgency were revealed for the first time at a bail hearing Monday in federal court in Brooklyn.
On the other hand, the Aussies have finally arrested the odious Abu Bakr:
SYDNEY, Australia - Australian authorities arrested 17 terror suspects on Tuesday — including a prominent radical Muslim cleric sympathetic to Osama bin Laden — and said they had foiled a major terror attack on the country by men committed to "violent jihad."
Abu Bakr — an Algerian-Australian who has said he would be violating his faith if he warned his students not to join the jihad, or holy war, in Iraq — was among nine men who appeared Tuesday morning in Melbourne Magistrates Court charged with being members of a terror group.

Prosecutor Richard Maidment told the court the suspects had formed a terrorist group to kill "innocent men and women in Australia."

"The members of the Sydney group have been gathering chemicals of a kind that were used in the London Underground bombings," Maidment said. He said Abu Bakr was the leader of the group.

"Each of the members of the group are committed to the cause of violent jihad," he added, saying they underwent military-style training at a rural camp northeast of Melbourne.
Speaking of rural camps for muslim extremists, linked for years to organized crime, consider the string of compounds spread all over the United States to serve the shadowy group, Jamaat al-Fuqra:
The JF, in its early phase, sought to counter what is perceived as excessive Western influence on Islam. It also concluded that violence was a significant aspect in its quest to purify Islam. In its ideological moorings, the Fuqra regards as enemies of Islam all those who do not follow the tenets of Islam as laid out in the Koran, including those Muslims who they consider as heretics as well as non-Muslims. One of Gilani’s works published by the Quranic Open University in the US and seized in a 1991-investigation instructed his cadres that their foremost duty was to wage Jehad against the ‘oppressors of Muslims’. Members of the group are described as Islamist extremists with much hatred toward their ‘enemies’.

Fuqra members were actively conducting jihad operations across North America in the ’80s and ’90s:
After the Portland bombing, two Fuqra cadres allegedly killed Mozaffar Ahmad, a leader of the minority Ahmadiyyah sect in Canton, Michigan. Both the suspects reportedly perished in a fire they had set at the Ahmadiyyah mosque in nearby Detroit. The JF is also reported to have been involved in the killing of three Indians on August 1, 1984 in a suburb of Tacoma, Washington. Besides, the JF is suspected to be involved in a series of fire bombings of Hindu and Hare Krishna temples in Seattle, Denver, Philadelphia and Kansas City.
Beltway sniper and muslim extremist John Muhammed is linked to Jamaat al-Fuqra. And from the Washington Times, Gates of Vienna has rounded up:
Militant American Muslims operating out of rural communes in California and other Western states have targeted this rural Virginia community for an influx of members who have ties to Middle Eastern terrorists.

Law-enforcement authorities said the Muslims — mostly converts — are expected to join with radical Muslims living on 45 acres in this small Charlotte County community, 25 acres near Meherrin in neighboring Prince Edward County and on other parcels of land owned by the group's members and supporters.
There could be one of their compounds in your area; they're all over and heavily into white collar crime to fund their activities:
The National White Collar Crime Center's report is itself worth reading. It persuasively argues that Jamaat ul-Fuqra provides the Jihadi movement with a powerful support capability in the United States not merely because of the compounds but because of its member's intimate knowledge of the way the dark underbelly of America works.
Be sure to see this link for the countrywide map of JF activity.

Sonic Weapons

The Seabourn Spirit cruise ship, owned by Carnival Cruise lines, was recently attacked by pirates in small speedboats off the coast of Somalia.

A rocket-propelled grenade that failed to explode remained lodged in the ship after the captain made it out into deeper waters.

I had wondered how Carnival had prepared for such an eventuality, for pirates are a bigger threat than one might imagine.

It turns out they apparently have some onboard security, and nifty pirate-repelling weapons:
Ship Blasted Pirates With Sonic Weapon

The crew of a luxury cruise ship used a sonic weapon that blasts earsplitting noise in a directed beam while being attacked by a gang of pirates off Africa this weekend, the cruise line said Monday.

The Seabourn Spirit had a Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, installed as a part of its defense systems, said Bruce Good, a spokesman for Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line. The Spirit was about 100 miles off Somalia when pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns as they tried to get onboard.


The LRAD is a so-called "non-lethal weapon" developed for the U.S. military after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching U.S. warships.

The military version is a 45-pound, dish-shaped device that can direct a high-pitched, piercing tone with a tight beam. Neither the LRAD's operators or others in the immediate area are affected.

American Technology, based in San Diego, compares its shrill tone to that of smoke detectors, only much louder. It can be as loud as about 150 decibels, while smoke alarms are about 80 to 90 decibels.

The devices have been deployed on commercial and naval vessels worldwide since summer 2003, the company said.
Well that's kind of neat!

But it would be nice to give them an old-fashioned broadside.

Dalai Lama

Wow, this news story sure flashed by quick, didn't it?

I wonder why.

So, now the deafeatist anti-war types not only have to answer to Orwell, who declared that pacifism in the face of tyranny is objectively pro-fascist; and to Hitchens, who outlined how Hussein did everything possibly required to void Iraq's soverignty and has declared this mission "a war to be proud of"; but now they also have to deal with the Dalai Lama!

Who'da thunk it?

Recognizing that some wars can be just, and that even Vietnam was morally defensible, the Lama refused to classify the Iraq war as unjust, saying time would tell at an appearance at Stanford University.

The allied victory in World War II "saved Western civilization," and conflicts fought in Korea and Vietnam were honorable from a moral standpoint, the 14th Dalai Lama said in answer to questions.

But he ruled out armed struggle for Tibet's grievances with the Chinese government.


Asked about the US-led invasion of Iraq, he said it would take a few years before it becomes clear whether the US military action was the right course of action.
One can only take the Lama's remarks as suggesting that America should stay the course, to make sure the promise of a free Iraq is realized.

The fact that he held out the possibility that it would be seen as the right course of action is very telling, rather than dismissing it as obviously an illegal failure and a quagmire, and is surely not at all what the likes of budding Buddhists like Richard Gere had wished to hear.


Yet More Iraqi Quagmire Photos

Oh no, run for the hills...

it's more Iraqi QUAGMIIIIIIIRE PHOTOS!!!!!

Found via Iraq the Model.

Of course, tonight, "60 Minutes" was talking about our "faltering" mission in Iraq, using 7-month-old footage of an attack on a private convoy on the Airport Road.

Most galling of all in their report was the admission that the terrorists know any attack will grab the headlines -- and I was thinking, well yeah, that's because you reporters let them! It was weird hearing that kind of unselfconscious meta-reporting by the media about its own behavior and complicity.

The Carterfiles

I had the misfortune of seeing Jimmy Carter on CNN, interviewed by Wolf Blitzer this weekend.

Oh what an awful person!

Carter said two despicable things before I stopped watching.

The first was his claim that the "Bush Administration" deliberately misled the American People, and the World, to go to war in Iraq.

Three times Wolf pressed him to explain if Carter meant Bush actually lied, or if the CIA generated poor intelligence.

And three times, Carter wouldn't give a straight answer, but each time suggested it was a deliberate lie by someone, somewhere, in the administration, who "twisted" the intelligence.

And the second thing Carter did was to lie himself, as he plugged his new book, to declare that the Bush doctrine is wrong, by mis-stating it as, to paraphrase Carter, "that if there's a leader somewhere we don't like, we can use force before that country is a threat to America."

The key word he used was "threat."

See the lie?

He's claiming Bush's pre-emption doctrine can come out of the blue, before an actual threat is detected. Implicitly that also means Carter thinks Iraq was not even a threat.

But that's a false statement of the Bush doctrine.

By Carter's incorrect formulation, that would mean we could attack, say, Bulgaria, just in case it might become a threat someday.

That's a lie.

The actual reasoning is that for counries that we know to already be a threat, we don't have to wait for an actual attack to be successfully completed to respond to the known threat.

See the difference in pre-empting something before it's a threat, versus before it's an attack?

What does Carter's faux moral high ground gain us, other than increasing the risk of chaos and destruction?

Jimmy Carter -- Worst President EVER!!!

Quote of the Week

Ok, I know just reposting other people's words is lame, but it's easy, so here goes.

A nice soundbite found in the comments at Belmont Club concerning the week of muslim riots on the outskirts of Paris:
politicized Muslims are not looking for their slice of the pie. They want the whole thing and the rest of us restricted to the kitchen to cook it.

Islam grew rapidly because it provided a rationalization and a group cohesiveness to take material goods from others. Mohammed was a brigand by trade and the first Muslims were nothing more than gang members. Like it or not, Islam was then and has always remained a Mafia with rituals.

There is no appeasment. Only a quiet period between battles.
Sums it up.


So, the movie Jarhead is soon to debut.

It is based on a book by the same name, being a memoir by a Marine in the old Desert Storm of Bush the First.

I haven't seen it, but I've browsed the book in the stores and seen the trailer.

It promises to be "a war film like no other."

Judging by recent movies, what, do they mean it will be entertaining and patriotic?


The movie trailer shows the title character alternately freaking out by throwing his helmet around, or standing in frozen befuddled shock as explosions burst all around -- his mental detachment due to wartime stress the only sane response to a world gone mad.

The theme of alienation and futility is underscored by the movie's tagline,
Welcome to The Suck!
I can only laugh given the seriousness with which the film approaches this issue.

Because, we'll recall, "The Suck" of the ground campaign in Desert Storm lasted all of 100 hours.

If you can't stand The Suck for 100 hours, what business do you have being a Marine?

Butch up, pansy!


I infer from comments about the movie at imdb that the action scenes are few and far between, and that the movie is an exercise in ennui. Maybe this movie timidly won't judge war as right or wrong, exactly, but it surely is presented as pointless.


And it is stated in the comments by advanced screeners that when the action occurs, it happens in a way "different than expected."

As I said, I haven't seen it, but I can hazard a guess that this means the only fighting this unit encounters in the movie would be a friendly-fire accident.

Mark my words.

The Economy, Stupid

The economy is FANTASTIC.

Doesn't feel that way, does it?

As Dr. Sanity points out, the little voices of the defeatist media who want all good things to happen only under democrats have been whispering doom and gloom.

And yet the objective fact is, the initial reading for third quarter GDP was +3.8%, when only +3.6% was expected, and either one is a really good number.

That also means we've expanded at over 3% for 10 quarters in a row -- a new record!

In fact, BizzyBlog points out:
So when was the last time the economy expanded faster than 3% for 10 straight quarters?

It didn’t happen during the 1990s (the longest streak was eight).

It last happened during the 13 quarters from 1Q 1983 through 1Q 1986. Not coincidentally, a president [Reagan] who believed in lowering taxes to stimulate economic growth was in charge the last time it happened.

So despite being at war, despite devastating storms, and despite legislative and regulatory drags on the economy like Sarbanes-Oxley, this has been most consistently growing economy in almost 20 years.

Not only that, the US economy has NEVER had a streak of more than 7 quarters of 3.0% or greater annualized growth at any other time in the 58 years that quarterly GDP statistics have been kept!
The cause, of course, is the Bush tax cuts, along with technologically-driven productivity gains.

Unemployment is low, as is inflation.

S&P500 operating earnings have also expanded by double digits, quarter over quarter, for the last 14 quarters!

And in fact, trailing 4-quarter earnings are at RECORD HIGHS.

That's right, the broad market is making record earnings, well above those of the "go go" years of the late 90s.

Yet the market index itself is far below its highs.


That's the effect of media-induced malaise, as interest rates are still low.

The market peaked around 1500 in 1Q2000, when earnings had reached a then-record $54 per share. That was too high.

At a Price to Earnings ratio of 20, it should have been around 1100.

Now they have rocketed to $74 per share, but the index is at 1200. That's too low.

At a Price to Earnings ratio of 20, the S&P500 should be about 1500, getting back to its old highs!

So the S&P could go up by 25% tomorrow to new highs, and it would be fairly valued.

Note: I don't want to hear about "long term average PE ratios" being 16 or something like that -- that's irrelevant, as interest rates have fluctuated and the "fair value" PE depends on the interest rate. On an interest-rate adjusted basis, the average historical PE ratio is more like 20.

Yet More Dating Horror

As I've written about before, I am a (not very successful) user of online dating sites, particularly one that caters to graduates of Ivy-like institutions.

The palpable fear and loathing of religion that many of these well-educated women express is just phenomenal. (My background is moderate Roman Catholic, and though neither an atheist nor even an agnostic, I do not attend church.)

They seem to think Christians are going to burn them at the stake or something.

If only we could get them to see the far more realistic threat they face from islam.

If only...

The hostility expressed is just incredible and widespread.

The new trendiness these days seems to be Buddhism.

I never used to see much of that, but now there are all these anglo-type women professing to be Buddhists, which always makes me howl with laughter.

(UPDATE: no one has complained, but I want to explain why I think that's funny. I'm not complaining about Buddhism per se, but I simply find it amusing that these women feel they can call themselves Buddhists with a straight face when culturally they are surely nothing at all like real Buddhists. Did they formally convert? How does one do that? What do they even mean by the term? You see how silly the designation is?)

I guess they got tired of the old "spiritual but not religious" category.

I just noticed one listing that specified,
seeking atheist (unless Buddhist).
Isn't that funny? And another one is seeking
a compassionate man who does not believe in God, or who maintains a cordial but distant relationship with Him/him/it.
Isn't that just a scream? Their neuroses are so transparent.

I've lost all patience with them and their demands for non-conservative men. One prospect, in her section on political views, stated:
I am pretty far to the left--not super crunchy but solidly pro-choice. I believe legislation and public policy should be based on sound evidence.
I thought that was just too delicious to pass up.

So maybe it was beneath me, but I decided to needle her by sending a bubbly e-mail but slipping in there the statement:
I also find it interesting that you desire, you know, "evidence" for public policy! One usually associates pure emotion and the self-contradictory absurdities of political correctness to be the basis of policy for the left...What a refreshing exception you are! :-)
I mean, her profile also said she liked to "argue about politics", so I figured I'd oblige her.

That actually got her to reply! She responded with:
I am trying to decide whether to take offense about your characterization of the left :) In fact I think a very strong argument can be made that policies on the left are much more likely to be based on science (and that is certainly true with this administration that seems unable to even entertain the idea of basing social policy like sex education on years of research and experience). I take it you may have voted for George Bush?
Oh, that's rich!

Leftist policies based on science? Uh, Marxism, hello!

And notice the voting-record litmus test! Rather odd thing to ask about, one would think, at such an early get-to-know-yout stage. But not in this polarized day and age.

I responded (for my profile lists me as an Independent, which is true):
Gosh, it used to be you'd expect prospective daters to maybe run down your sexual history, maybe do a credit it's come to checking voting history! :)

If I did, would that be a deal-breaker? I'm actually seeing lots of profiles (not saying you're doing this) these days that begin, "If you voted for W, read no further; other than that, I'm rather open-minded." Or, "Seeking a nice, intelligent, non-Republican man." The irony of the intolerance is quite amusing. It rolls so easily off the tongue: "Other than you being an evil baby-eating troglodyte, of course, I'm very open-minded!"
Well she wouldn't let me side-step the question.

Her Inquisition continued, as she replied:
Re George Bush and would it be a deal breaker, well my sister voted for him and I have not disowned her, but I would have to say it raises serious issues for me. I do research on women's reproductive health in the US and internationally and as you can imagine, much of what George Bush stands for offends me and makes my work a hell of a lot harder. So, out with it--did you vote for him? If yes I would certainly be curious why.
"Out with it"?

Can't you just feel her horror at the prospect of speaking to a Bush voter?

So, I told her that yes, I did vote for him, at least in 04 (but not in 00).

And since she asked why, I also explained it to her in the following way, as she had sweetly set herself up, by referring her ultimately to Wretchard's Three Conjectures:
Even if W packs the Supreme Court with Constitutional Constructionists -- which I actually hope he will, which is one reason I voted for him -- and even if they overturn Roe v. Wade, that won't have as much impact as some imagine: it won't oulaw abortion, it will just make it a matter for the States to decide, which perhaps is where they ought to. I can hardly believe that more than a handful of States would enact restrictions worse than the situation today.

The "right" way to protect women's reproduction rights is to have a national debate and get an Amendment passed, then this whole unstable situation about worrying about the opinions of 5 judicial overlords will go away. That's no way to live! Imagine if women achieved voting rights by judicial fiat, they'd always worry those rights could be taken away. Instead, they got an Amendment passed, and the issue was DONE for good!

The danger of the Christian Right I believe is vastly overstated. No matter how sympathetic to them any official may be, they can never, ever get past the First Amendment. Never.

More important to me, in 04 (unlike 00), was the grave threat to civilization of nuclear-armed Islamic radicals, whose modern jihad against us began at least in 1979, but goes back in some sense to 1683 or earlier. The consequences are so terrible, that I had to choose the course of action that would lead down a decision tree with the smallest chance of jihadists achieving their atomic aspirations. See for example the "3 conjectures" described in this famous blogosphere essay, from which I will quote:


Conjecture 1: Terrorism has lowered the nuclear threshold
These obstacles to terrorist capability are the sole reason that the War on Terror has not yet crossed the nuclear theshold, the point at which enemies fight each other with weapons of mass destruction. The terrorist intent to destroy the United States, at whatever cost to themselves, has been a given since September 11. Only their capability is in doubt. This is an inversion of the Cold War situation when the capability of the Soviet Union to destroy America was given but their intent to do so, in the face of certain retaliation, was doubtful.
Conjecture 2: Attaining WMDs will destroy Islam
Because capability is the sole variable of interest in the war against terrorism, the greater the Islamic strike capability becomes, the stronger the response will be.
Due to the fixity of intent, attacks would continue for as long as capability remained. Under these circumstances, any American government would eventually be compelled by public desperation to finish the exchange: total retaliatory extermination.
Conjecture 3: The War on Terror is the 'Golden Hour' -- the final chance
It is supremely ironic that the survival of the Islamic world should hinge on an American victory in the War on Terror, the last chance to prevent that terrible day in which all the decisions will have already been made for us.

W is not my ideal war president by any means, but Kerry was far, far worse. His Willy Loman approach to international relations -- the desire to be well-liked -- would be disastrous as Iran races ahead to build its nuclear bombs. Libya would not have given up its secret nuclear program either had not Hussein been dragged out of a hole: Italian PM Berlusconi reported that right after that, Qadaffi called him and said he saw what happened, and was afraid, and wanted to come clean. This also unraveled the A.Q. Khan nuclear black market out of Pakistan. Iraq will also be a much greater success than the picture painted by the evening news.

Even if our "allies" were cooing nicer sounds in our ears due to a Kerry presidency, they would be no more effective in combatting jihad or deterring Iran as they are today.

Instead, we'd declare victory, come home, and everything would appear rosy until the mushroom cloud appeared.

This can still happen under W, but at least we have more of a chance, in my well-informed opinion...and based on the tangible progress made thusfar, with millions liberated.

This being such a divisive topic, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you ran screaming from such a warmonger as myself; but it is motivated by a desire to save the Islamic world from the total extermination we'd have to subject it to if it became clear they could attack us with atomic bombs in a sustained fashion -- or, we'd just have to surrender to Sharia law unconditionally, and women's rights would suffer far more than you'd even want to imagine.

In fact, as a women's rights advocate yourself, I'd think you'd be supporting W's program of bringing secular democracy to the barbaric world of honor-killing and genital mutilation in the traditional Arab world.

I might even turn the tables, and say a vote for a relativist like Kerry raises serious issues with me! :-) But I wouldn't attribute such a vote to malice, as many seem to imagine a vote for W entails.
That wasn't nice of me, I know.

But it sure felt good!

I haven't heard from her since.

What a surprise.