Thursday, June 30, 2005

SoCalPundit Regarding Iraqi Ties To September 11, 2001 It's good to have all this in one place for future reference.

Text of Joint Congressional Resolution on Iraq -- October 11, 2002 Oh yeah. I need a copy of this.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Andrew C. McCarthy lays out the connections between Iraq and al Queda on National Review Online Here's a good clearinghouse for future reference.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

High court OKs personal property seizures This is appalling. Once again the left wing of the court decides that the Constitution doesn't mean what it says.

At issue was the scope of the Fifth Amendment, which allows governments to take private property through eminent domain if the land is for "public use."

Susette Kelo and several other homeowners in a working-class neighborhood in New London, Connecticut, filed suit after city officials announced plans to raze their homes for a riverfront hotel, health club and offices.

New London officials countered that the private development plans served a public purpose of boosting economic growth that outweighed the homeowners' property rights, even if the area wasn't blighted.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has been a key swing vote on many cases before the court, issued a stinging dissent. She argued that cities should not have unlimited authority to uproot families, even if they are provided compensation, simply to accommodate wealthy developers.

The lower courts had been divided on the issue, with many allowing a taking only if it eliminates blight.

"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," O'Connor wrote. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Kathleen Parker: De-feminizing torture I can't disagree with any of this. While Gitmo isn't the gulag there have been some things apparently done there that don't make any sense.

In some instances, (civilian) women interrogators at Gitmo partially stripped, and fondled themselves and the male prisoners, who sometimes were forced to strip in front of women. In one particularly loathsome example related by a former U.S. Army linguist, Sgt. Erik Saar, during a "60 Minutes" interview, a female interrogator put her hands in her pants, where she had hidden red ink.

She then wiped her reddened hands on the detainee's face, telling him it was menstrual blood. Again, this clearly doesn't qualify as "torture" compared to electric shock and beatings, but it's still wrong as ballet boots.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Durbin slanders his own country Mark Steyn again with one too good to pass up.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Victor Davis Hanson on the Middle East on National Review Online VDH on a recent Washington Post article interviewing a jihadi:

Note how in this one Washington Post story how almost every one of our Western myths promulgated by the antiwar Left is shattered by a candid jihadist himself. First, there was always radical Islamic anti-American hatred that preceded Iraq. Indeed, celebrations were spontaneous immediately after September 11 on the mere news of slaughtered Americans.

We have been told that jihadists and secular Baathists have little in common, and that only our war brought them together. But like the Japanese and Nazis in World War II, autocrat and jihadist have shared interests in hating liberal democracies — and well before our response they were jointly fanning efforts against the United States.

Note too the passive-aggressive nature of Syria that gives into rather than resists American pressures. When the U.S. threatens, it backsteps; when we relent, it goes back on the offensive.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Mark Steyn on The What selective outrage the world has for what goes on in the Middle East and at Gitmo. So we're supposed to close Gitmo due to bad press, and then everyone will love us?

And would caving in to those negative perceptions lead to any better press from the Guardian or Le Monde? Nobody got killed in Gitmo, so instead America is being flayed as the planet’s number one torturer for being insufficiently respectful to the holy book of its prisoners, even though the Americans themselves supplied their prisoners with the holy book, even though the preferred holy book of most Americans is banned in the home country of many of the prisoners, even though Americans who fall into the hands of the other side get their heads hacked off, even though the prisoners’ co-religionists themselves blow up more mosques and Korans than Americans ever do, and even though the alleged insufficient respect to the prisoners’ holy book occurred at a rate of one verified incident of possibly intentional disrespect per year. But sure, go ahead, close Gitmo and wait for the torrent of rave reviews — right after the complaints that it is culturally insensitive to rebuild the World Trade Center when it’s the burial site of ten devout Muslim flying enthusiasts.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Victor Davis Hanson on National Review Online discusses the rise of China. The world will soon enough look back longingly on the days when the US was the only superpower. Once China starts flexing its muscles the world will be much the worse for it.

As nations come to know the Chinese, and as a ripe Europe increasingly cannot or will not defend itself, the old maligned United States will begin to look pretty good again. More important, America will not be the world’s easily caricatured sole power, but more likely the sole democratic superpower that factors in morality in addition to national interest in its treatment of others.

China is strong without morality; Europe is impotent in its ethical smugness. The buffer United States, in contrast, believes morality is not mere good intentions but the willingness and ability to translate easy idealism into hard and messy practice.

Most critics will find such sentiments laughable or naïve; but just watch China in the years to come. Those who now malign the imperfections of the United States may well in shock whimper back, asking for our friendship. Then the boutique practice of anti-Americanism among the global elite will come to an end.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Mona Charen: 'Real men moisturize' Good God. The State Department does it again. It has to be our most incompetent branch of government, and that includes the post office. A magazine for the Arab world that features an article about a metrosexual?

First things first. Is this what the U.S. State Department thinks America is really like? How many men, outside a tiny subset in major cities, are the primping, feminized "metrosexuals" the article lauds? Not many. You cannot enhance understanding between one people and another by presenting a false version of one side.

But more importantly, is this the way to "build bridges" between the Arab world and ourselves? Does the State Department believe that Arab males -- some of whom do not permit their wives and daughters to go out in public without a male family member as escort, others of whom think nothing of killing a daughter who dishonors the family by fraternizing with a boy -- are going to be impressed with a vision of America in which males are feminized "exfoliated," smooth-skinned eunuchs?

Friday, June 03, 2005

U.N.: Weapons Material Missing I'm confused. I thought Saddam didn't have any WMD, yet here is the UN saying that all the stuff they knew he had is missing. How can something that didn't exist be missing?

U.N. satellite imagery experts have determined that material that could be used to make biological or chemical weapons and banned long-range missiles has been removed from 109 sites in Iraq, U.N. weapons inspectors said in a report obtained Thursday.

Minnesota men abandon Arctic trek This is too funny. Two guys try to cross the Arctic to draw attention to global warming but have to turn back because it's too cold.

Lonnie Dupre, 43, and Eric Larsen, 33, were forced to abandon their planned 100-day, 1,200-mile trek after encountering unexpectedly heavy snow storms, strong winds and unusual ice conditions, according to Jane Kochersperger, a media officer with the environmental group Greenpeace, which co-sponsored the trip.

Gitmo Grovel: Enough Already Great piece on this nonsense about "mishandling" the Koran.

Let's understand what mishandling means. Under the rules the Pentagon later instituted at Guantanamo, proper handling of the Koran means using two hands and wearing gloves when touching it. Which means that if any guard held the Koran with one hand or had neglected to put on gloves, this would be considered mishandling.

On the scale of human crimes, where, say, 10 is the killing of 2,973 innocent people in one day and 0 is jaywalking, this ranks as perhaps a 0.01.

Moreover, what were the Korans doing there in the first place? The very possibility of mishandling Korans arose because we gave them to each prisoner. What kind of crazy tolerance is this? Is there any other country that would give a prisoner precisely the religious text that that prisoner and those affiliated with him invoke to justify the slaughter of innocents? If the prisoners had to have reading material, I would have given them the book "Portraits 9/11/01" -- vignettes of the lives of those massacred on Sept. 11.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Analysts Behind Iraq Intelligence Were Rewarded Jesus Christ. The FBI did the same thing during the Clinton Administration for the screw ups over the Branch Davidian disaster at Waco. Government exists to serve itself. No other consideration matters apparently.

Two Army analysts whose work has been cited as part of a key intelligence failure on Iraq -- the claim that aluminum tubes sought by the Baghdad government were most likely meant for a nuclear weapons program rather than for rockets -- have received job performance awards in each of the past three years, officials said.