Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Media wrong to treat '9/11' film as truth I'm glad to see some mainstream papers writing things like this about "...9/11." More often they are completely in the tank. She even makes the analogy to "The Clinton Chronicles."

Ten years ago, "The Clinton Chronicles" documentary presented disturbing details about our then-president and his wife. The movie appeared well-researched and made some devastating charges about the Clintons' power years in Arkansas, carefully building a case for corruption, money-laundering, drug-running, bribery, intimidation and even murder.

But mainstream film distributors and movie critics never even considered circulating or reviewing that documentary. After all, they reasoned, "The Clinton Chronicles" was simply propaganda intended to smear an incumbent president during his re-election campaign. They ignored the movie in the name of responsible journalism, and it was consigned to informal distribution among die-hard conservative conspiracy theorists, never to receive mainstream attention.

I believe the Clinton movie was the one narrated by Jerry Fallwell. Why does he have any less credibility than a proven liar like Michael Moore? Gee, I wonder...

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

THE MESOPOTAMIAN Here's an Iraqi blogger commenting on the hand over of power to Iraqis. I'd say he disagrees with Michael Moore.

Hail our true friends, the Great People of the United States of America; The Freedom giving Republic, the nation of Liberators. Never has the world known such a nation, willing to spill the blood of her children and spend the treasure of her land even for the sake of the freedom and well being of erstwhile enemies. The tree of friendship is going to grow and grow and bear fruit as sure as day follows night. And the people deep down at the bottom of their hearts, they appreciate. Make no mistake about that. The people have voted today, the pulse of the street is clear, without any hesitation I would give 90% of all Iraqis are hopeful and supportive of the new government, and this is a tacit indirect yes to the U.S. which has been the prime mover of all these events. This is what the foolish fail to understand. Why is this a different situation from that for example of a Vietnam? The answer is very simple: Because, the U.S. has achieved something very popular around here; which is the removal of the Saddam regime. Those who are really against the U.S. from amongst the Iraqis have been and remain a small minority; all other forms of resentment are simply disappointment and disgruntlement resulting from the discomfiture of the present situation and will simply disappear with progress and gradual improvement.

As for the enemy, he will not reap but failure and the bitter taste of defeat.

Glory and honor to the U.S. and Allied men and women whose blood is irrigating the tree of freedom in this land; and their sacrifices, suffering, and toil is laying the foundation for a future renaissance of the Mesopotamian People. Hail soldiers of freedom and enlightenment. Do not be dismayed by the trouble and turbulence of the present, for the future generations will remember and appreciate.

And last but not least; Hail, Great El Bush, a leader not only of the U.S. but a true hero of mankind. And Hail Mr. Blair and the other Leaders of the Free World.

God Bless the New Republic of Iraq; God Bless America.

Mind-boggling metaphysics of Moore David Brooks looks at Michael Moore, and it ain't a pretty picture. But don't anybody question his patriotism!

In the days after Sept. 11, while others were disoriented, Moore was able to see clearly: "We, the United States of America, are culpable in committing so many acts of terror and bloodshed that we had better get a clue about the culture of violence in which we have been active participants."

This leads to Michael Moore's global plan of action. "Don't be like us," he told a crowd in Berlin. "You've got to stand up, right? You've got to be brave."

In an open letter to the German people in Die Zeit, Moore asked, "Should such an ignorant people lead the world?" Then he began to reflect on things economic. His central insight here is that the American economy, like its people, is pretty crappy too: "Don't go the American way when it comes to economics, jobs and services for the poor and immigrants. It is the wrong way."

The New Republic Online: Be Like Mike Here's Andrew Sullivan on some of the reaction to "Fahrenheit 9/11." Here he fisks William Raspberry's recent column and Raspberry's admission that the movie is propaganda but that he still likes it since it still has the "right" message:

Would it make a difference for the audience to realize that it was Moore's anti-war hero, Richard Clarke, who allowed many bin Laden relatives to leave the U.S. after 9/11? Or that Baghdad before the war was not a scene from Mary Poppins but a terrifying police state with 300,000 mass graves in its foundations? Or that every independent survey found that George W. Bush did indeed win Florida by a minuscule margin? You could have conceded all this and still made your point about Lila Lipscomb. But that would not have succeeded in making the president out to be "a devil."

Thursday, June 24, 2004

An orange alert for the lefties. Another good piece from an Aussie writer, Miranda Devine. Here she takes on the conspiracy mongers who go out of their way to blame the US for all the evil things done by the poor, put upon Muslims.

Conspiracy theorists are, of course, fringe dwellers, but they serve a purpose, pushing the boundaries of cynicism, feeding into the anti-West infotainment industry personified by the obese American filmmaker Michael Moore.

They need to raise wacky doubts to keep their world view intact, because every televised beheading is a setback for the left. It is a reminder of who the real enemy is (hint: not John Howard or George Bush) and who the intended victims are (Christians, Jews, moderate Muslims, anyone who gets in the way). It is a reminder that the war between the civilised West and fanatical Islamic terrorists is real, not a war against an abstract noun, and a lot more complex and intractable than the "Blood for Oil" and "Neo-Con Warmonger" slogans would have you believe.

The consensus in the media is that Iraq has been an unmitigated disaster, and a self-fulfilling liability for Howard and Bush in their upcoming elections. Every terrorist atrocity is somehow placed into the Iraq-is-a-disaster matrix, with blame apportioned accordingly, not to the terrorists but to the governments of the coalition, which should have left Saddam alone. Thus, when Islamic terrorists bombed commuter trains in Madrid in March, who was blamed but the Spanish government, which had joined the US coalition in Iraq and was voted out of office as punishment three days later.

In this matrix, the images of American soldiers abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib cancel out the images of the twin towers collapsing on September 11. The Republicans in the White House are more dangerous than al-Qaeda.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Our suicide mission An Aussie writer who isn't a hard core lefty; will wonders ever cease? Facts long ago left this issue though. Now the press is going after Rumsfeld for allowing dogs to bark at terrorist prisoners.

This week also saw the release of two interim reports by the commission US President George W. Bush set up to investigate al-Qaida's September 11 attacks. In a little-reported passage, they warn: "Al-Qaida remains extremely interested in conducting chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks."

It had tried to buy uranium, the reports said, and had "accurate information" on a radiological bomb. It had also been "making advances in its ability to produce anthrax", and experts believed "the trend towards attacks intended to cause ever-higher casualties will continue".

This spectre, of course, is what drove us to invade Iraq. Not only did Saddam house and help terrorists, including Abu Abbas, Abu Nidal, Palestinian suicide bombers and a bomb-maker of the 1993 World Trade Centre attack, but his scientists worked on chemical and biological weapons up until the war, as the Iraq Survey Group now confirms. The day would surely come when Saddam's weapons and the terrorists who wanted them finally met.

This is what Bush, Britain's Tony Blair and our John Howard warned of. But now this history is being shamelessly rewritten in the media.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Unfairenheit 9/11 - The lies of Michael Moore. Here's the best Chris Hitchens piece yet on that quivering gasbag, Michael Moore and his latest "documentary.":

To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.

Monday, June 21, 2004

An excellent, and frightening, piece from Niall Ferguson. We could be heading into a new Dark Age. The barbarians are at the gate once again, and want nothing from civilization other than it's death. For those who think the U.S. is a force for evil in the world, all I can say is they don't know what evil is. The barbarians will show them though.

Waning empires. Religious revivals. Incipient anarchy. A coming retreat into fortified cities. These are the Dark Age experiences that a world without a hyperpower might find itself reliving. The trouble is, of course, that this Dark Age would be an altogether more dangerous one than the one of the ninth century. For the world is roughly 25 times more populous, so that friction between the world's "tribes" is bound to be greater. Technology has transformed production; now societies depend not merely on freshwater and the harvest but also on supplies of mineral oil that are known to be finite. Technology has changed destruction, too: Now it is possible not just to sack a city, but to obliterate it.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Some great stuff here from the blog Slient Running. He imagines how the Normandy invasion would have been covered if today's BBC covered the invasion back then. Pretty brutal stuff.

Eisenhower’s so-called “Great Crusade” came to the sleepy French fishing town of Ouistraham this morning bringing it Churchill and Roosevelt’s “liberation”.

Allied high command considers the town to be a the key to securing the entire left flank of their invasion. An accident of geography that has proved costly for the peaceful seaside village.

Nearly 200 so-called “Free French” as the French mercenaries are called, lead the attack on the town without warning. In what can only be called total disregard for civilian lives and property the “commandoes” rampaged through the town for nearly four hours before the shooting finally ceased, evidently for want of targets.

At its height the attack included the used of armored vehicles firing high explosive shells into the towns landmark casino, completly destroying it in a clear violation of international law. Allied spokesmen claim the building was occupied by a strong German force although no evidence has been produced. It is chilling to observe though how few prisoners were taken when this “strong force” surrendered to the invaders.

Some great commentary on Reagan. Mark Steyn on the essence of the man:

“The Great Communicator” was effective because what he was communicating was self-evident to all but our dessicated elites: “We are a nation that has a government - not the other way around.” And at the end of a grim, grey decade - Vietnam, Watergate, energy crises, Iranian hostages – Americans decided they wanted a President who looked like the nation, not like its failed government. Thanks to his clarity, around the world, governments that had nations have been replaced by nations that have governments. Most of the Warsaw Pact countries are now members of Nato, with free markets and freely elected parliaments...

Ronald Reagan saw Soviet Communism for what it was: a great evil. Millions of Europeans across half a continent from Poland to Bulgaria, Slovenia to Latvia live in freedom today because he acknowledged that simple truth when the rest of the political class was tying itself in knots trying to pretend otherwise. That’s what counts. He brought down the “evil empire”, and all the rest is fine print...

Ronald Reagan on D-Day Reagan sure had some good speechwriters. It's sad that he's gone, but he has really been gone for some time now thanks to Alzheimer's. He was clearly the greatest president in my lifetime, and may be remembered as one of the greatest ever. He accomplished great things, but like all men, made his share of mistakes too. Trading arms for hostages with Iran for example. But his legacy is safe.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Separating Tax Facts From Tax Fiction Not that facts have anything to do with the arguments on this issue but still, it's nice to know what they are from time to time.

According to the most recent figures available (2001) the Treasury Department reports:

1- Since 1990, virtually ALL of the income tax collected by the federal government has come from taxpayers who fall in the top 50 percent in terms of income. In 2000 and 2001, this group paid over 96 percent of total taxes collected.

2-Most of this tax revenue comes from a very select group: The top 5 percent of taxpayers, defined as those who earned about a third (32 percent) of all national income, paid more than half of all individual income taxes (53.3 percent).

Those in the top 1 percent in terms of income, paid more than 30 percent of the total amount of income tax collected.

3-The tax cuts we received in 2001 and 2003 shifted an even larger share of the income tax burden to those with higher incomes.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Victor Davis Hanson on Iraq As the professor points out much of what we are being told is bullshit. But it isn't coming from the Bush Administration.

No al Qaeda links? Equally bothersome is the old canard, "Saddam was a secularist and hated al Qaeda" — as though simultaneous enemies of America have always shared the same ideology. Just ask the Japanese and Germans, or the Chinese and Russians, who agreed to set aside their mutual hatred to fight us for being emissaries of freedom. Under the Clinton administration it was considered standard intelligence dogma that Osama and Saddam worked together; only the controversy over Iraq has post-facto questioned that former pillar of American and European intelligence doctrine — and for entirely political reasons.

There was a reason Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas were in Baghdad. And it was the same reason why al Qaeda was working in Kurdistan, why al Zarqawi went to Baghdad to Saddam's doctors, why there is good reason to believe that before the first World Trade Center bombing the culpable terrorists had ties with Iraqi intelligence, and why seized documents now coming to light in Iraq reveal a long history of cooperation between Islamic terrorists and Saddam's secret police. To think otherwise would be crazy, given the shared aims of both in attacking Americans and getting them out of the Middle East. The only puzzle is whether Saddam contributed to the 9/11 terrorist fund or simply was apprised of al Qaeda's general efforts.

I've often wondered how people of today would react to another WWII. Hansen lays it out pretty clearly. We'd lose that war today.

Our Real Dilemma. We do have a grave problem in this country, but it is not the plan for Iraq, the neoconservatives, or targeting Saddam. Face it: This present generation of leaders at home would never have made it to Normandy Beach. They would instead have called off the advance to hold hearings on Pearl Harbor, cast around blame for the Japanese internment, sued over the light armor and guns of Sherman tanks, apologized for bombing German civilians, and recalled General Eisenhower to Washington to explain the rough treatment of Axis prisoners.

We are becoming a crazed culture of cheap criticism and pious moralizing, and in our self-absorption may well lose what we inherited from a better generation. Our groaning and hissing elite indulges itself, while better but forgotten folks risk their lives on our behalf in pretty horrible places.

Judging from our newspapers, we seem to care little about the soldiers while they are alive and fighting, but we suddenly put their names on our screens and speak up when a dozen err or die. And, in the latter case, our concern is not out of respect for their sacrifice but more likely a protest against what we don't like done in our name. So ABC's Nightline reads the names of the fallen from Iraq, but not those from the less controversial Afghanistan, because ideological purity — not remembering the departed per se — is once again the real aim.

Saddam's very own party Media bias? What media bias? The left in this country is no better of course. Defeating America is far more important than any other issue.

Just before the war against Iraq I began to receive strange calls from BBC journalists. Would I like information on how the leadership of the anti-war movement had been taken over by the Socialist Workers Party? Maybe, I replied. It was depressing that a totalitarian party was in the saddle, but that's where the SWP always tries to get. Why get excited?

Oh there are lots of reasons, said the BBC hacks. The anti-war movement wasn't a simple repetition of the old story of the politically naive being led by the nose by sly operators. The far left was becoming the far right. It had gone as close to supporting Ba'athist fascism as it dared and had formed a working alliance with the Muslim Association of Britain, which, along with the usual misogyny and homophobia of such organisations, also believed that Muslims who decided that there was no God deserved to die for the crime of free thought. In a few weeks hundreds of thousands of people, maybe millions, would allow themselves to be organised by the opponents of democracy and modernity and would march through the streets of London without a flicker of self-doubt. Wasn't this a story?

It's a great story, I cried. But why don't you broadcast it?

We can't, said the bitter hacks. Our editors won't let us.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Judge: Bush Abortion Ban Unconstitutional And pro-abortion extremists wonder why the pro-life side feels it has to resort to violence.

Doctors have construed the Supreme Court's decision in Roe. v. Wade to mean they can perform abortions usually until the 24th to 28th week after conception, or until the "point of viability," when a healthy fetus is thought to be able to survive outside the womb. Generally, abortions after the "point of viability" are performed only to preserve the mother's health.

Doctors (and Congress) may have construed Roe v. Wade in this way, but judges haven't. And judges are the ones who make law these days.