I think ^(link) therefore I err

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Fixing the 'Verse'

Richard Clarke could of done it.....just ask him.

He's got tons of foci that "should" have been focused on these years but weren't. And it only people had talked about them, they would have been fixed.

Global Warming: Even though "we've passed the point of no return", if only Bush would talk with Blair, this whole mess could be cleared up.

"Russian Revanchism": If only Bush would use Rice as she should be used with her Russian expertise, then the future wouldn't look so funky.

Latin America: Has gone to Chavez. Apparently when we weren't looking. Had we only been focused there.........

etc, etc. It goes on. Because of Iraq, and because no one listens to him (Richard Clarke) the world is in bad, bad shape.

Free Speech

George Will has a good column out on this subject.


Mohammad of Iraq the Model shares his thoughts.
Executing the dictator renews the hopes of not only Iraqis but also of other oppressed peoples in the world in having a better future where they enjoy freedom.

John Burns has a good article also.
Quickly, he fixed his gaze on the handful of foreigners in the court, and I had my own moment of anxiety when it came to my mind that he was intent on remembering the faces of the non-Iraqis that were there to witness his humiliation, perhaps to get word through to his lawyers, and then on to the insurgents, that we were to be punished for our intrusion. It was only later, after I learned what he had been told before being taken from his cell to the court, that I understood that our presence meant something else to him entirely, that with foreigners present, he was not going to be summarily hanged or shot.
(via Powerline)

Mark Steyn

Ends the year with a "look back". It's worth the read.
Here's something else nobody's curious about: Sandy Berger.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Is dead. Apparently some folks think it "doesn't matter". ie
From the LATimes:
The execution of Saddam Hussein doesn't matter as much as it once might have.
and from: The NYTimes
The growing chaos and violence in Iraq has steadily overshadowed the torturous rule of Mr. Hussein,

However, in Iraq, Iraqis, apparently are feeling a little differently as they remember this guy who is responsible for babies being shot in the head.
From the Mesopotamium
Anyway, I am too excited to talk more, and it is very late and I, like almost all Iraqis at this hour, cannot sleep and are all awaiting the awesome announcement at this eve of the Eid Al-Adha.
and from Healing Iraq
I hope the execution of the tyrant brings relief to the families of his victims.

But the BEST column today that I've read is this one by Ralph Peters.
Again, we can be proud that the United States of America brought him down. And that no dictator can ever feel entirely safe again.
President Bush changed the world. For all of today's carnage and confusion, and despite the appalling policy errors after Baghdad fell, the future will show that the change was for the better.



Friday, December 29, 2006

Just Links today

Here is a lovely picture of my big sister and a handsome young fellow after shoveling and a walk this morning.

Now onto the links: Captain Ed notes the NYTimes thinks a 3 year trial for Saddam is a "rush" to judgement. And if only the process could have "nurtured hope". Oh brother.

Interesting: The Herald has this article about that guy Osmani that was a top al-Qaeda guy killed last week in Pakistan. According to US Special Forces, Osmani was in US custody in 2004 and convinced everyone he was an innocent villager. But according to a US defense intelligence agency that's not true. And according to the Pentagon " "If we had captured Osmani, we would still have him". ahh, the fleeting nature of "truth".

Riehl World view notes the bullshi** headline on the story "Many U.S. Troops in Iraq Oppose Escalation"

Op-For notes that the US media calls our relations with Sadr "tense" and now "more tense" with the death of Amiri. hardy har har

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Amiri's death

The Washington Post today has an article on the Sadr aide who died in a raid yesterday in Najaf. The raid was an Iraqi plan
Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, the top U.S military spokesman in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad that the raid was led by 35 soldiers from the 8th Iraqi Army Division Forces, with eight U.S. troops serving as advisers.

"It was an Iraqi-led, planned operation consistent with the fact that Najaf now has been passed to provincial Iraqi control and that the U.S. forces don't operate there independently," he said.
but somehow Maliki is going to be hurting from it.
A raid involving American forces in Najaf is particularly embarrassing for Maliki. Last week, in an elaborate ceremony, the U.S.-led coalition handed over control of Najaf to Iraqi forces.

"The agreement between the two sides when the security profile was transferred to the Iraqi side is that the Iraqi side should know about any operations or actions done by the multinational forces," said Sadiq al-Rikabi, a political adviser to Maliki.
Maliki, if he wants to maintain his position has just been forced into the proverbial corner. He needs to say - "the plan was what the Iraqi forces say....they wanted to question Amiri, he ran, pointed a gun at one of our men and was shot for it." Otherwise, it will be his army doing an end run around him.

We'll see how political expediency works there.



Captain Ed notes that Belarus is calling Putin's bluff on his gas prices.
nstead of acquiescing to Putin's demand for half of Belarus' revenues from its pipeline service to Europe and a doubling of their own energy prices, Belarus has threatened to shut off the pipe altogether, interrupting service to Europe and cutting off revenues to Gazprom:

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Plan for Iraq and goings ons in Somalia

I liked this plan from Ralph Peters. Essentially re-focus everything in Iraq to stopping the insurgents. Forget about re-building etc and instead re-win this war.

In the meantime Ethiopian troops are winning their way through Islamist posts in Somalia. The NYTimes provides us with commentary but oddly enough does not provide us with civilian body counts in this conflict. It must be 300,000 by now. :
Any effort by the Somali government or Ethiopia to take the capital risks a disaster similar to the U.S. intervention in Somalia in 1992.
I suspect, if Ethiopia wants to go into Mogadishu, as does Scott (see update 2), that the capital will be easier to take with an all out war, vs a "war, with conditions".


via Instapundit and the Wall Street Journal. A quote from the Joseph Rago column concerning blogs:
the humor is cringe-making, with irony present only in its conspicuous absence; arguments are solipsistic; writers traffic more in pronouncement than persuasion . . .
Hardy, har, har

President Ford

President Ford died yesterday at 93 years old. Interestingly enough all the articles out there talk about what a good thing he did in pardoning Nixon. I'm not so certain. Neither is Captain Ed.
Ford had good and understandable reasons for his decision, but it did short-circuit the one quality about America that had always made us different from other nations: our leaders were not above the law.

World Economy

Thomas Sowell writes a perfect column concerning the "new" news about how all the worlds wealth is sitting in democratic, capitalistic, western societies. doh. "All you have to do is change people"
Nobody likes to see poverty in a world where technology and economic know-how already exist that could give everyone everywhere a decent standard of living.

All you have to do is change people. But have you ever tried to do that?

The quick fix is to transfer wealth. But more than half a century of trying to do that with "foreign aid" has left a dismal record of failure and even retrogression in Third World countries.

Some countries have themselves made changes that lifted them from poverty to prosperity. Indeed, the affluent countries of today were once living in poverty.

But they didn't do it with quick fixes or by turning a dangerous power over to politicians.


Afghan Women

Ick. (from LGF) Watch the video, it puts you on edge watching this brother and sister interact.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 24, 2006

How things are going in Iraq

Major Bill Edmonds is a soldier in the Army special forces and shares his story of his year in Iraq. His job:
On this small plot of land where I live, next to the Tigris River, in the very center of an Islamic metropolis, I help find and then interrogate terrorists alongside the Iraqi officer whom I advise and with whom I also live.
His concern:
But for a year I have also been an observer of an immensely complicated situation. I am a soldier who fights alongside Iraqis, and I interact daily with and hear the words of Iraqi soldiers, civilians and insurgents alike. Through their eyes I see the strengths, foibles and faults of my military and culture.
Read it!
So what is the balance between taking charge in Iraq and/or abandoning the country? Our best response is to pull the American soldiers back and push the Iraqi soldiers/policemen forward as quickly as possible. I feel the urgency of this mandate as I type these very words on this small Iraqi base among Iraqi soldiers. As I told Ibrahim, the captured insurgent, "I want to leave your country. The only reason I stay here is because Iraqis are dying and you insist on fighting. All we want to do is to help."

I naturally assumed he understood this. Well, he had not, and most do not. This message is one that is lacking and one that Iraqis surely need.


Global Warming

Tim Blair always finds the funny.

Yet another person asking for radical change to save the planet from global warming who flies his jet back and forth from work!


The State of the Blogosphere

Or another response to Joseph Rago via Dean Barnett

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Great News

Another one strikes the dust. And Dr. Z thinks he's winning! ptooi

The Zawahiri Message

Powerline has read it so we don't need to. (and based on his quotes, may I say, Thank you!)

John gives a point to the part where Zawahiri gives credit the Mujahadeen for the Democrat win.
(Zawahiri) The third thing I wish to talk about is a message to the Democrats in America.
I tell them: you must realize two facts.

The first is that you aren’t the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost: rather, the Mujahideen – the Muslim Ummah’s vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq – are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost.

(John) Hmm. Once again, I think he has a point.
I think that's crap. While al-Qaeda is in Iraq, if al-Qaeda were all we were fighting in Iraq I suspect the war would have everyone's full support. Including Iraqis.

The problem Democrats have with Iraq is that the "insurgents" are not the same as "al-Qaeda". And I doubt Baathist insurgents would like to be call Mujahadeen.

There is a lot going on in Iraq. Sectarian violence, violence from ex rulers, imported violence and al-Qaeda violence. Zawahiri did not win this election.

Much of what is heard in Democratic circles concerning the "War on Terror" is that we "lost focus" in Iraq. "If only we hadn't gone into Iraq we could have gotten Bin Laden...." etc, etc.

There are fine lines in war and I happen to agree with Bush on this one. It was important that we went into Iraq, drawing a line in the sand as to what would be tolerated and not. Others didn't see it that way and those others won this election.

Zawahir is living in a f****** cave and sending out video messages. He won squat.


Op-For writes on the David Ignatius column. Essentially his message to (beside the part saying to read mil-blogs) is that David might need to buy a clue. Read it. If I start cutting and pasting I'll paste the whole thing.

Anti-blog screed Smackdown

This column by Rich Miller is a nice little response to Wall Street Journal's and other MSM opinions regarding blogs. Essentially the WSJ article paints all blogs with the same brush and Rich takes note of that.
Look, there's a lot of bizarre behavior on the Internet. And there's no shortage of vitriol, either. Some people are just strange. But much of the harsh language about politicians and the reporters and columnists who cover them are more than justified.
Time magazine's gushing over the monstrously popular video sharing site YouTube in its ''Person of the Year'' issue has generated some backlash. Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg described YouTube this week as ''Teenage girls lip-syncing to popular songs in their bedrooms. Lots of pets and babies and snippets from TV shows.''
I know personally I've found YouTube snippets that helped me figure out one of my horses. There's a lot out there. Much of it is horrible. Find the good stuff and surf!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Spirit of America

Here's a special request to blog from Spirit of America.
This message includes:
Three updates from Iraq (re: school supplies and library books provided by Spirit of America), including a message from embedded journalist Bill Roggio.
An update from Afghanistan re: a school reconstruction project supported by Spirit of America.
A new request from Marines for winter clothing and blankets for Iraqis. If you know of a corporate donor for winter clothing, let us know (see below).

These guys do great work.

Slow News Day

It must be a slow news day because on the front of the NYTimes online is a story creating a war between those who like inflatable Santas and those who don't. Personally I keep my decorations simple and realize that they don't have anything to do with the "meaning of Christmas". The NYTimes, has got to be completely ignorant on the subject of religion and has brought the inflatables into the discussion of "meaning".
Whatever else Christmas in America means — the birth of Jesus, holly wreaths, the Chipmunks, cultural tension — it now also includes these gargantuan, inflatable outdoor decorations, called “Airblowns” by their chief manufacturer.


The AP

Responds to Michelle Malkin and her quest for Jamil Hussein. Their source for the story of six Sunnis burned alive in November.
I have no additional information for you at this time.


But better yet, read this by WuzzaDem. ROFL. (via Instapundit)


Thursday, December 21, 2006


Apparently Merlin has a fan club. Coastwatcher has requested photos of the dog.......Take note, Dr. Fitch, of the shoveling his mom did into the yard so he doesn't have to bound through the snow with his recently operated on back!

The Good News

Special Forces in Kabul have cleared out a Taliban suicide bombing cell resulting in 0, yes, 0 suicide bombers in Kabul for 2 months!

And an Afghanistan has also arrested a Pakistani intelligence agent with ties to al-Qaeda.

Now that's what I call win, win!

The Moqtada Two-Step and the quote of the day

Captain Ed catches Sadr blinking again. Funny how that always happens when talk goes to actually prosecuting the guy.

Speaking of more troops, Instapundit has found the quote of the day from Don Surbur:
"Congress authorized the war in Afghanistan 5 years ago and the war in Iraq 4 years ago. This is not “M*A*S*H.” Wars are not sitcoms. You cannot cancel them after a few seasons because they are unpopular."

Tracking Jamil Hussein

Michelle Malkin has this story as they search for a person who is becoming more and more make believe as she searches. Jamil is/was a regular source used at the AP. Oddly enough, he hasn't been used since his non-outing (can you "out" someone who doesn't exist?) concerning the 6 burned alive Sunnis that apparently didn't happen.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006


This is like the old days. You know, when I had to walk a mile up hill both ways in the snow to get to the schoolhouse.

Free Speech

The LATimes notes the fines imposed for free speech from the power hungry FEC. 527's were fined because they theoretically should have been registered as PAC's. Evidence? Well none.
What did the groups really do wrong? Did they bribe or corrupt politicians? Well, no. You won't find "Duke" Cunningham, William Jefferson or Bob Ney connected to MoveOn or the Swift Boat Veterans. Did they make illegal contributions to campaigns? Well, no again. Did they seek out special favors or illegally coordinate their efforts with candidates? No. The FEC admitted that, after a "thorough" investigation, it found no evidence that any of the groups operated in concert with candidates or sought legislative favors.

Elections in Iran

I'm not sure DEBKA is a trustworthy source but they are noting a bit of election fraud in Iran. Keep an eye out.

The Veil

Tim Blair notes the crack team at a customs counter in the UK. Cover yourself with a piece of clothe and no one will ever recognize you!


Palestinians have had enough of the fighting amongst each other. They have started to quit offering their blood up as refills for fighters.
As gunmen spilt it and warring politicians hailed its sanctity, ordinary Palestinians showed their disgust for feuding Hamas and Fatah gunmen by refusing to donate blood.

Zawahiri didn't get the message. He is voting for jihad over voting. I wonder why he thinks his vote is worth more? lol

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

March to Mecca

Well it happened. Democrats are now the majority so the people can now safely focus their fears where they belong. There is going to be a March to Mecca in support of gay people. Hollywood it participating. And Sharon Stone had this to say.
"Not marching in these countries, in this era of terror, seems cowardly," says event co-organizer
Sharon Stone. "I'm embarrassed to say at social gatherings I even blamed the United States for
everything. But I realized it's the radical Muslims - not the US - who want gays dead, and for that I am truly sorry."
Imagine that.

I guess I should just accept this new plan with grace and go on, but if the left had been supporting this stance all along this war would be over. I really believe that. You can't win with half the people in the country wanting to lose. Perhaps now that that other half is in the majority they'll start trying to win. At least they are learning who the enemy is!!

Kofi Annan

And his low-rent subsidized New York City apartment.

Muslims in Europe

No, this isn't a demography post. Instead Tim Blair notes a new little change there. Rape is up in Oslo and a Norwegian professor is blaming women's provocative dress. Apparently it is provocative to Muslim men.
Wasn't the final word on rape that it's about violence, not seduction?

The times they are a changing, back.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Christopher Anderson

This last week my hometown lost one of it’s own in Iraq. Christopher Anderson. It kept me thinking all weekend long of that gospel song...Why Me Lord.
As the song goes:
Why me Lord,
What did I ever do
to deserve even one
of the pleasures I’ve known.

I know we're at war. And I know we need to be there. Those people who've attacked us here need to not to it again. And because of that I know we have terrible losses.
In this case, as it hits closer to home those lyrics kept going through my head.

what did I ever do
to deserve even one
of the US armed forces working for me.

I know it isn't about me personally, but I hope that the men and women out there working for us realize that their examples, their citizenship, their heroism make me try harder to be a better person so I can deserve what they deliver with all the sacrifices they make. Including their lives. Our country wouldn’t exist as it does without them.

Thank you to them all. And to their families.

Ukrainian Babies

That Drudge story was real. The Council of Europe has been investingating the disappearance of babies in the Ukraine maternity wards since 2005. They are seriously thinking that these babies are being taken away and having their organs harvested. It's too much to believe but apparently we need to.

The oceans

Very cool story in the Washington Post about the changing science of the oceans. Using GPS and bar codes on creatures they are discovering all sorts of new things including a school of tuna the size of Manhattan that was living off the coast of New Jersey.
In 2006 alone, researchers found a single school of 8 million fish the size of Manhattan off the New Jersey coast as well as the hottest-known hydrothermal vent, which sustains marine life even as it spews liquid from below the sea floor at 765 degrees Fahrenheit.


Gets freaked out by dissent. Imagine. Captain Ed has the story of those college kids who protested during Ahmadijinad's Holocaust denial fest and how they are now in hiding. I loved this:
Apparently, Ahmadinejad was shocked at the outburst, after having had his staff arrange for rock-star receptions wherever he appears. When the chanting began, Ahmadinejad tried to get his supporters to counter-chant, but wound up leading it himself. He looked so stricken by the display that he looked ready to cry, according to one of the witnesses quoted by the Guardian.
See who can "Make Ahmadijinad cry" would be a great new game for kids, assuming they could live through it.


Tsunami Donations

Pajama Media notes that some of the money is being used to enforce Sharia law. Great.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Big News

Breast cancer rates have dropped as women have stopped using estrogen during menopause.
And coffee is good, I mean bad, I mean good, leeches are back in style, margarine is not better than butter and the food pyramid we learned about in school is wrong and the overuse of antibiotics is going to be the bane of humanity and flouride in our water actually does nothing.

The latest, must have drug of the day is cholesterol drugs. I wonder what we'll be hearing about them in 20 years.


While the Iraq Study Group is recommending we just negotiate a peace between the Israelis and Palestinians to create a stable Iraq, the Palestinians themselves are working towards instability without interference. It's a mess.

It started Monday with the murder of the 3 children of a Pro-Fatah security chief then moved to the revenge attacks around the area. The Prime Minister cut short his money begging trip around the area (including in Sudan) to return home carrying 30 million dollars (left behind in Egypt) and welcomed with an assasination attempt. So now there are more rounds of clashes.
Here is a real quote vs a soundbite.

Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh said his first response was to regret that the gunmen had missed Mr Haniya.

The Palestinian Authority has 160,000 workers that haven't been fully paid in a while. If they are relying on donations from abroad, maybe it's time to cut the size of the govt. to what they can afford. Avi Shaked is offering 1billion dollars to startups there, if and only if, the PA reaches a "peace agreement with Israel".
Ok, ok, it's not going to happen but at least it's an idea with some backing vs the ISG's, "make peace between the Palestinians and Israelis" big idea!

Iraq Study Group

Charles Krauthammer finds the ISG as laughable as I do.
Syria should stop infiltration, declares the report. And Iran "should stem the flow of equipment, technology, and training to any group resorting to violence in Iraq." Yes, and obesity should be eradicated, bird flu cured and traffic fatalities, particularly the multi-car variety, abolished.
and Secretary Rice made it clear we're not negotiating concessions with Syria and Iran.
saying the "compensation" required by any deal might be too high. She argued that neither country should need incentives to foster stability in Iraq.


Thursday, December 14, 2006


They respond via Op-For to those who want us out of Iraq now.


Paying Carbon Credits for Flying Reindeer Poo



Blood Thirsty Liberal also notes that it's weird that Sudan is offering the Palestinians so much money.



Uncorrelated saw Jimmy Carter on Leno. He shares the real Jimmy Carter with us in comparison to the Tonight Show version. In conclusion:
This may explain my animus towards former President Carter--every time I see him on television, quipping in the lazy peanut-farmer-from-Georgia drawl, talking about building homes for the poor and moralizing about the faults of the Bush administration or the Israelis--I get nauseated, literally physically ill. We couldn't imagine Saddam yucking it up on the Tonight Show, but this evil old man has been pulling the wool over our eyes for thirty years.

This isn't just about personalities--"realist" foreign policy is trying to make a comeback--promoted by Democrats of course. Make no mistake--"realist" foreign policy means simply that Democrats make the "wogs" pay the price for our freedom and prosperity. Ultimately--what effect did the genocide in Cambodia have on the Soviets? What price did it make them pay?

Perhaps that makes it the ultimately evil--a racist and perverse policy whose moral repulsiveness is compounded by failure.

Eason Jordan

Is back in business. Captain Ed reviews who this guy is and how what you're reading about him now is full of crap.
Michelle Malkin has agreed to work with him to find the mysterious AP source, Jamil Hussein. (of the 6 burning Sunni's fame)
Interesting times.


Powerline notes his crap.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Iraq Study Group

This is the best article I've seen on the Iraq study group proposals. It's laugh out loud funny. A taste:
The problem in Iraq is that Iran and Syria are arming, funding, and encouraging Sunni and Shiite insurgents? Well then, all we have to do is to convince Syria and Iran to stop supporting these insurgents.

The problem in the region is that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict inflames anti-American sentiment? Well then, all we have to do is to convene a conference to negotiate peace in the Middle East.

See how simple that was? It's amazing that no one ever thought of these ideas before the Iraq Study Group came along. But no, don't thank them. It's all in a day's work for Captain Obvious.
In the meantime, a new poll is out saying that Americans think we're losing the war in Iraq and we should follow the proposals of the ISG to change course.
In the meantime, the newspapers continue to write crap. No one should ever wonder why Americans think the proposals of the ISG are "fundamental changes in course".
The bipartisan Iraq Study Group last week issued a report calling the situation in Iraq "grave and deteriorating," while recommending fundamental changes in how the Bush administration handles the war.
Fundamental changes?? Like what? Like "As the Iraqi's stand up, we'll stand down"?
This report essentially said that Bush is moving in the right direction. He knows he's out of office in 2008. He cares about the Iraqi people and their country. Do you think that he doesn't want us mostly as advisors by 2008? Of course he does and of course he's been moving in that direction. Ok, you're right. He had no intention of negotiating with Iran. And he had no intention of making Israel disappear to save the situation. But other than that?
Even Syrian negotiations have been hinted at. As have threats to Iraq that we'll just go home.
I mentioned JayWalk yesterday from the Jay Leno show. People get their information from the news. The news takes whatever the first newspaper said and then runs with it throughout the country. In this case, the ISG will save us all if only the stubborn Bush will follow the recommendations.


Odd things to watch

In this NYTimes story regarding the shooting of the Hamas linked Judge in Gaza it reads:
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said from Sudan that he would cut short a foreign trip and return to Gaza.

When Haniyeh left on Nov. 28, he planned to travel for a month. That drew criticism because of the need to conclude negotiations with Fatah on a new government and the political violence raging in the Palestinian territories.

In this blog post from Abu Kais it reads,
More details have emerged about the Sudanese envoy's trip to Syria, during which he announced Damascus's alleged support for the Arab initiative.

Both stories are interesting in their own right but what the heck is going on in Sudan that isn't about Darfur? Sudan pledged 10million US dollars to the Palestinians but is that what this is all about? What is being given in return?


A Muslim Response

to CAIR concerning their support of the six Imans. Since we are always saying "if only Muslims would rise up and condemn the bad guys.....". Here's one.
nto this highly charged environment comes this incident of the imams returning from their conference. To ignore the larger context is to virtually live in an airtight bubble.

The preponderance of evidence points to some troubling coincidences during flight preparation, regardless of where we stand on this issue. The distribution of their seats, while in fact random, raised concern. Changing seats after boarding, rather than before, raised concern. Conversations in Arabic after boarding raised concern. Seatbelt extenders raised concern. However, no passengers refused to board after seeing and hearing the imams pray aloud at the gate. Taken individually, each of the reported actions could be something any of us would do. However, in totality, although unfortunate in retrospect, it remains hard to fault a cautious crew who must act with little information to ensure a safe flight.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


During my big trip to DC and NYC I also got a tour of the Pentagon. I arrived there at 11am right when Secretary Rumsfeld was giving his goodbye speech so I missed it, but Smash shares with us his reflections on it.

Afterwards Rumsfeld went to Iraq to say thank you to his troops there. Those folks are fond of Rumsfeld as am I. May he have a great life outside of office and may he write a great book, because I know we're all interested.

The Economy

Tim Blair links to a story in "The Australian" discovering a new force of nature similar to the 'Al Gore Effect'. (the one where temperatures drop every time Al speaks of global warming) This one has the economy improving whenever a leftist says that reducing government spending will cause the economy to collapse.
I'm just amazed such a story was allowed in a newspaper. You'll never see it here.


The UN

I loved this story concerning Darfur. First the title:
UN body 'must investigate' Darfur

And then the body:
The council cannot force Sudan to accept UN peacekeeping troops, our correspondent says.

But human rights groups say a resolution sending the UN's top human rights experts to Darfur to investigate would have moral authority.

Nothing like having a little moral authority in your back pocket for when you want to accuse Israel or the US of behaving badly.


Incoming House Intelligence

Uncorrelated takes a look at Pelosi's pick.
Almost everyone, sooner or later, has a stupid boss. The general response is to treat him like a mushroom--keep him in the dark and feed him sh_t.

That's generally not good for the business, but how bad is it when the stupid boss has oversight of this countries intelligence services?
This is like a Jaywalk episode, where Jay Leno asks people on the streets of LA about who the Vice President is and they say, ummmm, Hillary?

Guantanamo Ex-Prisoners

Don't you ever wonder about all those folks in Gitmo that were just "freed" because of the clamoring of the press? You back the military folks who are saying these are enemy combatants who need to stay there, and then the next thing you know 500 of them are let go. Why? What happened? Well today, Barcepundit follows the story of one such fellow. And as expected:
Spanish police have arrested 11 suspects linked to Islamic militants in a raid on a poor neighbourhood in Spain's North African enclave Ceuta, an Interior Ministry official said on Tuesday.

Spanish media reported that one of those arrested was Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed, a Spaniard who spent two years in U.S. detention in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after being captured in Pakistan.
There's one.


Friday, December 08, 2006


Running late......off to NYC for the weekend for the first time. See you all on Tuesday! Have a good one.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Prescription Drug Plan

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) notes that people are happy with the drug plan, in spite of dire predictions.
Now that many seniors are saving money on drugs, instead of struggling to pick a plan, polls have turned favorable. A survey of 3,400 beneficiaries by J.D. Power & Associates found 45% "delighted" with the program, rating their Medicare drug plans 10 on a 10-point scale; another 35% rated them an 8 or 9.
I'll give a dollar to anyone who finds choosing amongst complex plans in anything............mortgages, car insurance, vacation cruises, etc.......fun and easy. Being "delighted" in the end is a bonus. Once again congratulations to Julie for promoting this so well!!

Kofi and Iraq

I didn't bother linking to the story out of the UN the other day where Kofi suggested that the average Iraqi's life is worse now than under Saddam, because it was too stupid for words.

Today however, Mohammed at Iraq the Model takes Mr. Annan (or as he calls him Kofi al-Tikriti) down. A taste:
He simply can't generalize the situation the way he did; did he consider Kurdish mothers and wives when he made that statement? Did Erbil, Basra or Kirkuk send a letter to Kofi blaming him for not stopping America from toppling Saddam?

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Iraq Study Group

Captain Ed notes both Guiliani and McCain's responses.
Rudy Giuliani called some of the ISG's recommendations "useful", but told Dennis Prager that leaving Iraq would be a "terrible mistake", while John McCain scotched the notion of a regional conference dominated by two terror-supporting states:

Sergeant Boggs shares his opinion with Powerline readers.
The Iraq Survey Group’s findings or rather, recommendations are a joke and could have only come from a group of old people who have been stuck in Washington for too long.
Go read it. It's from someone who's been there twice now.

If I get a chance, I'll read it today for commentary tomorrow.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

White House Christmas Party

Ok, there will be pictures to come, but I just got back from a White House Christmas party where I got to meet, yes, the President of the United States of America and his lovely wife Laura! It was awesome. Luckily he was distracted talking with my sister so he didn't notice me tear up from the overwhelmedness of it all. Oh yeah, and who should we run into on the way out of the party......Karl Rove. A little chit chat about the weather and Colorado and we were on our way. Cool.

The Iraq Study Group

You all remember Stay the Course. And just what was that course? From all I've ever heard, including that article about from July of 2003 it was:
Help the Iraqi's build a functioning democracy that they run themselves.

So why on earth does today's NYTimes story about the Iraq Study Group claim that
members of both parties in Washington have come to the conclusion that a significant change in course on Iraq is needed.
? And that change of course?
According to members of the panel, the group concluded that American forces in Iraq should make a major shift in priorities over the next year, largely withdrawing from combat in favor of beefing up the training of Iraq forces. It also called for stepped-up diplomatic efforts — including talks with Iran and Syria — not only to stabilize Iraq but to revive the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, news services reported.
I would not say that a shift in priorities makes a change in course. The object in the end is a stable democracy of Iraqis running their own country. I'm not at all sure why the study group is calling for diplomatic efforts with Iran and Syria who are both promoting a war in Iraq. But even that I wouldn't call a "change in course".

A change in course would be switching from pushing for democracy to pushing for a kingdom.
A change in course would be switching from pushing Iraqis to self government to insisting that Iraq become an unincorporated territory of the US, like Puerto Rico.
A change in course would be switching from a unity govt there to proposing 3 new nations.
A change in course would be switching from US involvement to Nato involvement.
A change in course would even include giving guns and ammunition to every adult there, standing back and saying may the strongest win.

The Iraq Study Group is "staying the course".


The Six Immans

Their story has made it to the Wall Street Journal. Good, because the truth of their holdup, while making the blogs, hasn't really been making the news, and it should. USAir deserves a medal and I hope the investigation remains public and out there because people need to hear this story.
Given that Islamic terrorists continue their obsession with turning airplanes into weapons of mass destruction, it is nothing short of obscene that these six religious leaders--fresh from attending a conference of the North American Imams Federation, featuring discussions on "Imams and Politics" and "Imams and the Media"--chose to turn that airport into a stage and that airplane into a prop in the service of their need for grievance theater.



Don't you wonder why President Bush is so derided in the media for not being diplomatic enough (his attitude of it's "his way, or the highway" or "you're either with us, or you're with the terrorists") while President Ahmadijinad can get away with calling this whole country a bunch of heathens without anyone saying boo about his diplomatic skills? From Reuters:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned Western leaders to follow the path of God or "vanish from the face of the earth".

Let's just say it here. President Ahmadijinad needs to learn about American culture. If only he could see the diversity and depth of the culture here, then perhaps he could sit down with President Bush or Secretary Rice and hold an intelligent conversation about our differences. Until such a time that he has a clear understanding of the roots of our past, our Judeo/Christian base that has expanded from a diverse immigration and the love of freedom we have fought for including amongst each other, we really don't have much to talk about with a kidnapping, threatening, whackjob, son of a b*(&, freak.


Democracies, Capitalism, Cash

The Environmental Republican writes what I was thinking regarding the big news that most of the world's wealth resides in North America, Western Europe and some Asian countries. hmmmmmm........is there a connection? Scott is shocked but manages to find a link:
Those of us in countries that support capitalism and hard work are making more money than those that don't. I know, it's a shocka but it's true

In other news today, Thomas Sowell manages to smack down Hollywood's anticorporate attitude in one column.
The real comparison is not between what people are paid in Third World countries compared to what people are paid in the United States. The comparison that affects outcomes is what Third World people are paid by multinational corporations compared to what they can earn otherwise. By and large, multinational corporations pay about double the local pay in Third World countries.
But don't worry, this is the same Hollywood that puts out movies about how badly we treat out own too.

So to be clear, it's not good that capitalistic democracies have so much money compared to other places. It's not good that we export our capitalistic ways to those other places because it takes advantage of them. And it's not good that we export our capitalistic ways to those other places because is screws our own, who though richer than those other people, are still poor.



Iraq the Model shares a problem going on in Baghdad. From a poster:
In response to demands from the honorable teachers and beloved students and to protect them from the Rafidhi [Shia] government and the death squads it endorses, it has been decided to cancel all studies for this school year in Baghdad exclusively

Ansar Al-Sunna

Yeah right, in response to "demands from the teachers". Baloney. Here's a little rundown about who Ansar Al-Sunna is via The Jawa Report. Headline:
Ansar al Sunna Kills 3 Iraqis on Video

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I hardly ever watch the evening news, but had it on last night. The sense of the news broadcast was about how badly things were going, how Bush has no authority left, how everything is going to rot in Iraq.

I actually took a moment to think "have I got it so wrong? Am I just getting all my news from people with skewed outlooks?" Then I shook it off and decided that even if they were correct, I choose to think otherwise because they just can't be right. They just can't. (That would be my keen sense of logic working by the way.)

Today Instapundit links to Bill Roggio who is now embedded in Iraq. The short little snip on Glenn's site is enough to confirm, the evening news is whacked. Here's a taste:
While waiting to manifest on the flight to Fallujah, CNN played a news segment of President Bush announcing there would be no “graceful exit” from Iraq, and that we'd stay until the mission was complete. Two sergeants in the room cheered. Loudly. They then scoffed at the reports from Baghdad, and jeered the balcony reporting.
and here is Bill's post. Read it and keep updated.


The Modern Age

The NYTimes gets a screening of an Israeli report showing, yes showing evidence of Hezbollah fighting from within civilian areas. Transparency in the modern age. Now, if Hezbollah could do the same. Hah. I loved this part: (they also have video of them questioning captured Hezbollah fighters.)
Muhammad Srour, a young Hezbollah fighter, said he had initially received training in Iran and was undergoing further training in eastern Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley when the war broke out. He was sent to the front lines.

Like many Hezbollah fighters, he traveled by motorbike, but they were frequently the targets of Israeli forces. While transporting missiles, hidden in cloth, in and around the southern village of Aita al Shaab, “I carried a white flag,” Mr. Srour said.
Ah yes, the white flag. Kind of like the Red Crescent. Clearly a symbol of innocence.

Of course we all have learned about video tapes lately (and if not, the Times was happy to remind us by mentioning the 28 deaths in Qana (down from 56)). But I would think video transmitted directly from a missile as it's going in to hit it's target might be accurate! Certainly there's no staging involved!


Iraq Symposium

Instapundit has the first round up, and Mark Steyn just happened to write a piece that would go along regarding the Iraq Study Group.

Good stuff.

UPDATE: Here is another excellant column by John Podhoretz regarding the plan.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Famed IED Hunter

via Op-For


Iraq Symposium

Now is your chance!
Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit is asking for
I'm going to try a blog symposium on Iraq, Iran, and Syria. I want some new ideas --

What do you have for him?

Here's mine:
Let me preface this whole post with "I am not in the military, I don’t read military books, and I hardly ever watch war movies. In other words, I don’t know jack. But this sounds like a good plan and Glen Reynolds was asking!"

I would start in the training.

First I would increase the pay scale for anyone willing to follow this plan.
- I would start by taking those that volunteered for this out of their own neighborhood and into a barracks. They would live with and among American military.
-I would give Iraqi Police, Iraqi military and US military working with Iraqis accelerated classes in Iraqi history, the greatness of the entire country, why the British partitioned them as they are, the accomplishments of the Sunnis, the Shias and the Kurds. I would include the crap they’ve had to put up with from Saddam, Iran and Syria. I would not include anything to do with Israel or the US. I would include the friendly relations we’ve had with Iraq over time.

Then I would team people up one on one. Iraqi army guy with US army guy etc. Those two would shadow each other throughout their 4-6 months of training. The US military is strong and proud and knows about civility and treating people respectfully and treating superiors all the way up to the ranks properly. They are proud of the work they do and should be. The Iraqi’s would feed off of that. They would get to a point where they too are proud of their country, AND (not or) religion/sect. They would be proud of the work they do and quit selling themselves short to the lowest, most fanatic bidder. Would there be a communication problem? Sure. But everyone works in units and each unit would have a translator of sorts. Much can be communicated without words.

After training, the first real work done would be away from each person’s own home/neighborhood.

After that the police can go to their home stations to work and the military would go where needed throughout the country.

Anyone – anyone caught lying, cheating, stealing, embezzling, bribing or in any way acting unbecoming to their stations would be fired from the police or put in the brig or whatever they do in the military. This would apply whether in this new group of trainees or the ones currently working.

After each round of recruits is put into the area of militias such as Sadr city, I would oulaw those militias. Any militiamen would be welcome to join the service the normal way but if caught out and about, harassing civilians, killing, kidnapping etc they would be shot. And if, for example the leader such as Moqtada al Sadr doesn’t dismantle these militias, he himself will be arrested for harboring fugitives or something.

On to Iran and Syria: As weapons are coming across the border from Iran and Syria I would work to convince Maliki to start making noises about declaring war on them himself. He can freeze assets, cut off business ties, whatever. Then we, the US can start making noises about allying ourselves to Iraq. With any luck that war never comes but if it does it gives the Iraqi’s a different enemy than each other or us. One they’ve fought and won in the past.

Problems with the plan: (sure, there are a few)

Iraqis are hard pressed to leave their families during these hard times. The new pay scale has to be big and the US military not involved in this training needs to be showy so that civilians are safer than they are now.

Convincing the NYTimes not to print headlines like “Iraqi trainees being coerced into listening to American propaganda”.

Convincing Maliki to outlaw Moqtada. I’m not sure why this would be so hard if the newly trained Iraqi’s prove themselves in other areas first

Convincing the Democrat controlled Congress to back the Iraqis if it comes to the real war going on with Iran/Syria vs the US. Like I said, with any luck there would be no real war.

Convincing Maliki we really would be there for them against Iran or Syria. If we are ever to protect Israel and Lebanon we will have to be there but I am no longer certain that the American people are up to it.

Convincing the American people to win this thing and not run before it's over.

See? There are a few problems. But as to the Iraqis and Iraq:

Sure there are rotten eggs in any organization but folks who serve in uniform are generally there as the sheepdogs to us sheep. Those sheepdogs are tougher, stronger, meaner, and prouder and when they do their job right and with dignity they only get tougher, stronger, meaner and prouder. The Iraqis can do it. Moqtada's militias and Hezbollah's fighters are not the sheepdogs. They hide amongst civilians and blame others for their problems. They act like wolves feeding off us sheep. In the end, sheepdogs win. And they will.


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Too much news

There is way too much going on today for a Saturday!
So I will quickly leave the stories for you to read rather than try to write about them myself.

Richard Miniter on those Imans on USAir. They're full of crap.

Omar on the lack of coverage of the capture of the Baghdad Sniper.

Najmaldin Karim on the lack of Kurdish discussion or participation of the famous Iraq Study Group.

Abu Kais blogs the protests in Beruit.

Kim Murphy on the spy poisonings.

The Guardian on the disaster in the Philipines.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The UN

I linked to the story a few days ago about the UN's sexual dysfunctions (spelling fixed). Today we have a story from the BBC that was a bit of a snorter.

First the facts:
Children have been subjected to rape and prostitution by United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti and Liberia, a BBC investigation has found.
Girls have told of regular encounters with soldiers where sex is demanded in return for food or money.

A senior official with the organisation has accepted the claims are credible.

And from the Assistant Secretary General of Peacekeeping:
"My operating presumption is that this is either a problem or a potential problem in every single one of our missions."
So on December 4th, they're going to hold a conference. Snort one.

And get this, after discovering evidence of abuse in Liberia the UN responded by adding 500 more peacekeepers. Yes, let's add even more abusers to the mix. Snort 2.

But don't worry because despite the fact that this has been going on and known about for years, Kofi Annan has now pledged a policy of "zero tolerance". Snort 3.



This was just a great post by Varifrank on warfare.


Iraq Study Group

John Podhoretz is just aghast at the ISG's recommendations. (from the Washington Post)

John's is full of outrage:
Baker, Hamilton and their crew of old Washington hands (and I mean old, like Metheuselah-level old) are recommending a "gradual pullback" of American troops but without a timetable. That basically translates into a nice, long, slow defeat - the "graceful exit" of which the president spoke so harshly.
I read both of those articles, and other than the part where the ISG recommends negotiating with Iran and Syria the recommendations sound exactly like the big plan all along. Fight al-Qaeda, get Iraq to stand on it's own two feet, maybe end up with a friendly nation in the middle of the Middle East. As a matter of fact the only thing different is, as Uncorrelated says:
Sounds like the original plan. Except it doesn’t have the twin lightning rods of Bush and Rumsfeld saying it.
or as the Mudville Gazette says
That sounds like a 360-degree about face to me.

It sounds like we will be "staying the course" for now and for that I am thankful.

Now if the MSM could start acting like this is a positive thing and writing like we're winning...........

(Did you note the capture of the Baghdad Sniper the other day? Or that 11 key members of Ansar al Sunna [a bunch of beheaders] had been captured? )