Friday, January 30, 2004

The U.S. Army investigates a suspicious death in Samarra. This is very troubling. You never know what the truth is over there, but this doesn't sound good for us. If it's true the soldiers responsible deserve the most severe punishment possible.

This is why I have a hard time reading Reason. I agree with most of what he says here, but the last four words I find amazing.

The commentator Andrew Sullivan, another supporter of the war who still believes it was justified, nevertheless admits that, given how the U.S. exaggerated the WMD threat, "I can't see how a single ally will support us in future similar circumstances...And I think a large swathe of American public opinion will be more skeptical than ever." I hope he's right.

I hope he's right? I understand that many libertarians opposed the war for their usual reasons (gives too much power to government, and creates situations that increase government intrusion in everyday life, i.e. the Patriot Act) but to hope that allies and citizens lose faith in the United States and refuse to support it in the future strikes me as taking an argument to extremes.

In another part of the article he says this:

Kenneth Pollack, the former National Security Council official who wrote The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, concedes in the January/February issue of The Atlantic Monthly that "in all probability Iraq was considerably further from having a nuclear weapon than the five to seven years" estimated by intelligence analysts. He accuses the Bush administration of distorting the already exaggerated estimates of the nuclear threat, "the real linchpin" of its case for invading Iraq.

Excuse me? Kenneth Pollack is upset that the Bush administration distorted the intelligence as part of "its case for invading Iraq." Kenneth Pollack literally wrote the book on why Iraq needed to be invaded. I read The Threatening Storm, and it was said to be on the night stand of every policy maker in Washington before the war.

I had some reservations back then, and really couldn't see how we could justify invading absent an Iraqi link to 9/11 or something. I read Pollack's book and was convinced that it had to happen regardless, primarily because of the argument he made regarding Saddam's nuke program. Now he seems to be saying "Well, they shouldn't have listened to me."

Hey Kenny, you were the hotshot CIA analyst playing off your reputation for having been the only one to predict Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Why shouldn't we have believed what you were saying? You had an up-close look at the intelligence. We just followed your lead. Thanks a lot.

I can't disagree with this. Reason Magazine frequently has a real nasty attitude about Bush and Republicans in general, but they also hit the nail on the head now and then as well.

A Tale of Two Reports - David Kay and Lord Hutton. Ya gotta love Chris Hitchens. Cut through the bullshit, here is reality. He's the only intelligent leftist I've ever read.

Republicans better wise up fast or we will wind up with a President Kerry. A $500 billion deficit? From a GOP controlled Congress and White House? If there is no difference between Repubs and Dems, why should anybody vote at all?

Victor Davis Hanson on War on National Review Online VDH spells it out. Damn, the man can write. We have opened a real can of worms in Iraq, but it was a can that had to be opened. If we succeed, the world will change for the better in more ways than we can count. If we fail it will get much worse. That is why we can't fail. This is a messy, dirty job with nothing easy about it. But it's a job someone has to do, and we have appointed ourselves to do it. So let's get it done.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Here's an interesting article from Dissent Magazine, a far left publication. This guy gets it, even though he can't stand Bush. To some people the issues are clear, even if they don't necessarily agree with the tactics or those proposing them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The Fog of WMD Here's a well reasoned argument about the WMD issue. Based on what was known at the time I still think we were right to do what we did, even though it appears that the intelligence was wrong, at least about WMD. It was right about everything else though (mass graves, links to Al Qeda, support for terrorism, etc).

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

In a fitting finish to his remarkable campaign, Wesley Clark attempts to fly (stolen from lucianne.com).

This is taken from a June 2003 article in USA Today. It bears remembering that the US wasn't alone in assuming that Iraq had WMD:

Reports by the United Nations, CIA, State Department and private researchers, many issued during the Clinton administration, all concluded that Saddam had large amounts of banned weapons despite years of U.N. inspections. Examples:

• A February 1998 State Department study found that Saddam was "making every effort to preserve them."

• A January 1999 report from U.N. inspectors said Iraq had failed to account for weapons it previously had declared, including 1.5 tons of VX gas, 8,000 liters of anthrax, 7,000 liters of botulinum toxin and nearly 1,000 liters of aflatoxin, a potent carcinogen.

• A June 1999 CIA report said Iraq likely had 6,000 hidden chemical munitions.

An August 2002 report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said Iraq "almost certainly does have large numbers of chemical weapons and some biological weapons."

• A September 2002 report from the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies said Iraq had probably retained "a few hundred tons" of deadly mustard and sarin gases.

• In January, chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix concluded that Iraq had yet to account for 1,000 tons of chemical agents or its anthrax stockpile. Blix's latest report, issued Tuesday, said Iraq still hadn't proved itself weapons-free on the war's eve.

The chance that all of these reports were wrong is slim. If anything, they were bolstered by Saddam's behavior of continually thwarting U.N. inspections. For example, Iraq denied having biological weapons for four years after the 1991 Gulf War, then admitted their existence after a defector pointed inspectors to the arsenal.

So what has happened to Saddam's lethal weapons? The only plausible explanations are that they were destroyed, remain hidden in Iraq or have been moved out of the country. The job now is to determine which is the case as quickly as possible.


It is very troubling to find out that all these intelligence agencies were apparently wrong. If they don't know about this stuff, what else are they getting wrong?

Also, regarding the bold section highlighting the comments from the Carneige Endowment for International Peace, this is the group that just came out with a report slamming Bush over getting it wrong about WMD. Who got it wrong?

Here's a major slam at John Kerry over his Vietnam war protesting in the 70s. He does seem to want it both ways. He seems to be saying "I'm a War Hero, vote for me!" while at the same time saying "everything we did in Vietnam was wrong." Which is it?

Speaking of Wesley Clark, below is an excerpt from a recent interview Clark did with Wolf Blitzer of CNN:

General Wesley Clark: Wolf, do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk... ice cream. Ice cream, Wolf, children's ice cream.

Wolf Blitzer: Lord, General.

Clark: You know when fluoridation first began?

Blitzer: Aye, no, no. I don't General.

Clark: Nineteen hundred and forty-six. Nineteen forty-six Wolf. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? Its incredibly obvious isn't it. A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works.

Blitzer: Uh, General, General, listen, tell me, tell me, General Clark. When did you first...become...well, develop this theory?

Clark: Well, I, uh...I...I...first became aware of it, Wolf, during the physical act of love.

Blitzer: Hmm.

Clark: Yes, a uh, a profound sense of fatigue...a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I...I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.

Blitzer: Hmm.

Clark: I can assure you that it has not recurred, Wolf. Women uh...women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women, Wolf.

Blitzer: No.

Clark: But I...I do deny them my essence.

A great piece from Peggy Noonan on Wesley Clark. Jesus the guy turns my stomach. What a complete phony. I can understand that people would be opposed to Bush, but how in God's name could anyone support this guy?

The Jobless Recovery Will wonders never cease? An editorial from the Washington Post that doesn't blame Bush for the "jobless recovery."

Knowns, unknowns and the Ketchup Kid Mark Steyn on the New Hampshire primary, which frankly doesn't seem to deserve all the hype it gets every four years. New Hampshire could not be less representative of this country if it tried. All white, pretty conservative, but really more contrary than anything else. Any state that would vote for Pat Buchanan and John McCain isn't really on the same wavelength as the rest of the country. Anyway loved these lines about Kerry:

If you go to a Kerry rally – something of an oxymoron, but let that pass – the senator's stump speech is a karaoke tape of floppo populist boilerplate. If he'd downloaded it for free from the internet, that'd be one thing. Instead, he paid a small fortune to hotshot consultant Bob Shrum, who promptly faxed over the same old generic guff he keeps in the freezer: "I (insert name here) will never stop fighting for ordinary people against the powerful interests that stand in your way."

This shtick worked so well for Shrum's previous clients - President Dick Gephardt (1988), President Bob Kerrey (1992), President Al Gore (2000) and President Insert Namehere (2008) that he evidently sees no reason why it shouldn't elect a fifth president this time round. Throw in a few mandatory sneering references to Enron, Halliburton and Attorney-General John Ashcroft plus a handful of local hard-luck stories of doubtful general application –

"47-year-old Arlene Claxton of Hooksett worked 20 years to build up her hairdressing business only to contract a rare skin disease from a conditioner manufactured overseas by corporations George W Bush has given tax breaks to in order to export American jobs abroad to jurisdictions lacking environmental safeguards thanks to a sweetheart deal negotiated by a lobbyist for Halliburton and then learnt that her health insurer wouldn't cover the cost of treatment because etc etc."

Monday, January 26, 2004

Are Parallels To Nazi Germany Crazy? / VIEW FROM THE LEFT Here's an example of some of the nutbag nonsense coming from the left these days. This is in the San Francisco Chronicle (of course), not from some fringe website. Keep it up boys and girls. The more you spout stuff like this the more you guarantee another four years for GWB. People are more afraid of people like this than they are of Bush. People like this hate America so much they don't want to defend it. To them, it doesn't deserve defending.

Saddam's WMD hidden in Syria, says Iraq survey chief Isn't it odd that American papers are ignoring these comments from David Kay? They instead selectively quote him to say that the WMD are gone and leave out the part where he talks about where they might have gone. They seem to want to make it look as though he is saying they never existed, when that's not what he's saying at all. Still, the CIA seemed pretty confident that we'd find stockpiles. We may yet, but it's looking more and more doubtful.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Here's the domestic version of the Dems foreign policy approach to the campaign. "All is lost, we're living in the ninth circle of Hell thanks to GWB." As with their comments on Iraq I hear this description of America and wonder "what are they talking about and where does this exist?"

Victor Davis Hanson on War & Election 2004 I find that I can't listen to the Dems for more than a few minutes at a time. They seem to be talking about a completely different country and a completely different war. The one they describe sounds terrible. The one we're actually in isn't a cakewalk by any means, but bears little resemblance to their version.

This shows which MST3K villian I most resemble. You take a short quiz and it gives you the result, seen here:

You are The Master
What MST3K Villain are you?
by Krankor.com

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Terror trial witness links Iran to 9/11 Oh brother. This is interesting. It wouldn't surprise me either, considering Iran's history. But what a can of worms that opens up if it pans out. Still sketchy at this point though.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Loving Monsters Here's a good metaphor for much of what goes on in the world. "If only we would take the time to get to know what they want, then maybe they would stop eating us." I actually read a column from the San Francisco Chronicle (of course) that wondered why no one had bothered to ask Islamists why they were so angry at the West, and if we did, maybe we'd be able to come to a peaceful resolution.

They like Bush, and they are not stupid. It's nice to see something like this is a foreign paper, in this case a very liberal Austrailian paper.

An interesting article on how life has improved over the last couple of decades. It's stats like these make make me so confused when I hear Democrats talking like they were after the SOTU speech last night, or on the campaign trail. The things they say just don't make any sense. They seem to be saying that people are miserable, dying in the streets from neglect, desperate for help from a cold, uncaring government. Al Gore is one of the worst offenders, always going on about how we're on the verge of environmental catastrophe. They seem to be saying that all of the environmental laws and regulations we've imposed over the last 20 years have had no effect what so ever. If that's the case, let's repeal them and see what happens!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Libya's black market deals shock nuclear inspectors This is scary. But we're supposed to sit around and do nothing until one of these Arab countries actually produces a working bomb? Look how easy it is for them to get the parts, with German help by the way. I bet it wouldn't be hard to find French fingerprints on this deal as well.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Paul Robeson - To You Beloved Comrade Wow. This is a piece written by Paul Robeson in memory of Josef Stalin a month after he died. The US Postal Service has announced it is issuing a stamp in honor of Robeson. Hell, why not one of good ol' Uncle Joe himself?

Showstoppers My God is this frustrating. Considering how much we spend on the military you'd think they would want to try some of it out from time to time. No wonder Osama figured he would get away with 9/11. We'd never responded before so there was a good chance the response, even to a direct attack, would be minimal. The worst part is Clinton had plenty of support in this approach at the Pentagon.

Here's some PC insanity at its worst. When statements of fact and reasonable opinions such as those expressed here are distorted and attacked like this we're in trouble. The Arabs have learned to play the race card at every opportunity and there are always PC politicians willing to pander to them so as to appear "sensitive." Despicable.

Boy, if this doesn't piss you off, then nothing will. I think it was Mark Twain who said something along the lines of "we have no native criminal class in this country, except for Congress." It doesn't matter which party you belong to, once you get there, any ideals you may have had go out the window and the job becomes the world's largest ATM for you and your friends.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

This is depressing, but true. We are in a religious war with Islam right now despite Washington's claims to the contrary. They have declared it on us whether or not we declared it back. This won't end for a long time and many more will die as a result. The conclusion nails it:

Speaking to Muslim leaders at a Ramadan dinner at the White House recently, Mr. Bush answered a question about why Americans think Muslims are terrorists this way: "That’s not what Americans think. Americans think terrorists are evil people who have hijacked a great religion."

Hopefully, that statement reflected the last vestiges of political correctness in the face of hard reality. Otherwise, the United States can not possibly claim to be the leader of the war against Islamism and the Muslim masses that support it.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Howard Dean letter to President Clinton It's amazing how flexible these people are, isn't it? I wonder why Bosnia was more important to Dean than Iraq? Milosevic was certainly no threat to us. Saddam certainly was, whether or not we find WMD in huge quantities.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Sing a Song of Howard Dean Here are some good examples of the type of people backing Howard Dean. As usual, Matt Labash makes it fun to read. But then songs for and about Howard Dean would be hard to do seriously.

Anti-War Candidate? Wesley Clark: What Must Be Done to Complete a Great Victory Here's Wes in the London Times the day after Saddam's statue was pulled down in Baghdad. Sure sounds positive to me. Especially lines like this:

As for the political leaders themselves, President Bush and Tony Blair should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt.

'Bush lied' and the lying liars who perpetuate it. More on the "Bush Lied" nonsense and all the others who apparently lied as well. What I wonder is, if there never were WMD how did so many smart people get it so wrong? It wasn't just the US that thought he had them, it was the entire western world's intelligence agencies. It was accepted as a given. Hell, Iraq admitted it had them and never explained what it did with them. And now they're gone. So where the hell did they go?

Yellowcake in Rotterdam Harbor May Be From Iraq This can't be true. Didn't Joe Wilson say that Iraq never got any Yellowcake? So the CIA probably planted it.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Here is the actual testimony by Gen. Wesley Clark before Congress in September of 2002. In it he completely supports Bush's position on Iraq and supports the use of military action of the UN fails to act. Doesn't sound like he's always been against the war like he claims. So was he lying then, or is he lying now?

This may be a good first step toward the final collapse of Wesley Clark. I never thought he was really a serious candidate given all the contradictions he'd already been confronted with, but this just shows him to be a liar and opportunist.

A good smack at Teddy Kennedy from Jonah Goldberg. I particularly enjoyed this part:

The riskiness of the Iraq venture was so colossal, so fraught with unknowns and downsides, it pushes the idea George W. Bush was willing to do it simply for the political benefits beyond the critical mass of asininity.

I frankly don't care if you agree with me or not; if you think this war was a no-brainer political coup for the president, you're a moron. If you think this White House saw it as such from the beginning, you're a moron with ADD.


I wonder if politicians like Kennedy really believe anything they say from one day to the next? They must think people are incredibly stupid and will forget or won't even know about their voting records or what they've said in the past. Sadly, I think they are mostly correct.

Oh yeah. This is just the kind of help Iraq needs. If these groups want to set up shelters to hide women from honor killings (but wouldn't that be interfering with cultural diversity?) then who could have a problem with them? But when they start demanding quotas of women in government and talking about staging The Vagina Monologues then they are going to be the biggest recruiter the Islamists have ever had.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

U.S. Says It Has Proof of Sales to Iraq Gee, what a surprise.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Clark says he can keep U.S. safe from attacks I think Wesley Clark is more than a little nuts. The things he says don't always seem to be based in reality. He claims that he would have captured Osama by now (doesn't say how) and that he would have stopped 9/11 from ever happening (again, how?) and as president will prevent another terrorist attack like it from happening again (how? HOW?!). Is he Superman? Can he really see the future? He also has claimed that there is a secret Bush plan to invade several other Middle Eastern countries, but when pressed for details says "oh, it's just what I hear around the water cooler." How can anybody take him seriously? Howard Dean has more credibility.

Great article from Charles Krauthammer on how things have changed since the war in Iraq. I realize that the Dems have to run against something if they want to defeat Bush, but opposing everything we're doing in Iraq and pretending that it's been a disaster is a losing formula. Not that I oppose their use of a losing formula, but it's just sad to see a political party self destruct like this. JFK wouldn't recognize the Democrat Party these days. They'd be calling him a "right-wing extremist".

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

This is interesting. When it comes to WMD and what Iraq did with them, I guess the Russians would know, wouldn't they, since they helped create them in the first place. Since the article I originally linked to on Strategy Page is about to go away here is the relevant part below:

Iraq's weapons of mass destruction remain missing. Although American national security was undoubtedly strengthened because of the success of the Iraq War, the failure to find banned weapons limited this success. As a result many people are asking where these weapons are.

The Iraqi preparations to hide the WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction, chemical, nuclear and biological weapons) were enormous. Hidden in civilian homes, mosques, man-made lakes, in sealed wells, and under the desert, the WMDs couldn't be used, not in the way we imagined. They were used as psychological warfare weapons.

Many countries, particularly Russia, may have had a role in hiding these weapons, because some countries' governments and major businesses participated in Iraq's illegal activities. It is well-known that Russia had military advisors in Baghdad shortly before the war began.

Ion Pacepa, the highest-ranking East Bloc defector, wrote of how the Soviet Union developed "Emergency Exit" plans, in which Russia would assist rogue states to make their illegal programs disappear. The plan called for dumping some weapons in the sea, destroying others, and also waging an intense propaganda campaign against the politicians and countries that claimed the rogue state had banned weapons.

Although all technical documentation and research would be preserved, the disappearance of the weapons would frustrate the West by not giving them anything they could make propaganda with. Yevgeny Primakov, one of the Russians that told Pacepa about the plan, went to Iraq and advised Saddam Hussein in the months before the war.

Back in Dallas finally, after three weeks off for surgery. All things considered I could have done without it. But not really I guess. It may take me awhile to get back into the habit of posting but I will.