Friday, June 30, 2006
I haven't read the opinion (a) because it is now 3:00 in the morning and I am going to work out at the gym soon, and (b) I generally wait until the illustrated editions of Supreme Court decisions are issued.
I wonder how many, if any, of the Senate and House Democrats read it before they raced up to the galleries to get in front of TV cameras to tell us how much they now LOVE the Supreme Court.
Here are a couple of points to ponder.
This case was brought by a guy named Salim Ahmed Hamdan. Salim was a driver and bodyguard for one Osama bin Laden. Not exactly a guy who happened to be passing through Afghanistan in 2002 on his way to do some community service in Nepal.
The Court did not rule Hamdan (or the other 10 people who are affected by this ruling) has to be released. Nor did the Court rule that Guantanamo had to be closed.
As I understand it, the totality of the ruling has to do with using trial procedures as set forth in the Uniform Code of Military Justice - instead of purpose-formed tribunals operating outside the normal strictures of the UCMJ.
Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the opinion, also pointed out that Hamdan was not being afforded the rights of prisoners as set forth in "Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions."
Just to set the record straight, this is, in part, what Article 3 states:
[T]he following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to [persons not actively engaged in hostilities]:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
I suspect it was subsection (d) which attracted Justice Stevens' attention, but go back through that list. Remember Daniel Pearl?
Hello? ACLU? Can we get a ruling here?
I don't see this as anything like a "sweeping rebuke" of the Bush Administration's tireless efforts to keep people from coming to America to kill us, in spite of the New York Times breathless headlines subsequent to the decision.
In fact, Justice Stephen Breyer, who voted with the majority, wrote in a concurring opinion, "Nothing prevents the president from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary."
Rather than this being an election-year slap to Republicans, I trust Speaker Dennis Hastert and House Majority Leader John Boehner already have their lawyers working on the kind of legislation Justice Breyer was writing about, and will bring it to the floor with all deliberate speed.
Let's see how happy the Democrats are when they have to vote on that legislation.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
So what has Israel so upset? The Islamic terrorists of Hamas have been holding an Israeli soldier for 4 days. So the tanks are rolling in and the planes flying overhead. Israeli troops are also making arrests. But the Palestinians are upset about all this. According to one of their negotiators, "I think that Israeli attempts to bargain through bombardment of power stations and bridges and arrests of parliamentarians and ministers is just adding to the complexities." Adding to the complexities? What? Aren't they the ones who took an Israeli soldier hostage? In what context is that not an act of war? Bargaining? How about this bargain? Give us our soldier back or we're going to kill a whole mess of you Islamic terrorist bastards.
The White House is responding to this by saying Israel has a right to defend itself, but should be careful about hurting civilians. All of this points out why the "Mideast peace process" is a fantasy. The only time you truly have peace is following a military victory. It's time to fully unleash Israel...and bring the terrorists in the Palestinian territories to their knees.
Once they surrender, then they can negotiate the terms of their existence. There's your peaceful end to the conflict.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Organizing the hijacking of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon took significant sums of money. The cost of these plots suggests that putting Osama bin Laden and other international terrorists out of business will require more than diplomatic coalitions and military action. Washington and its allies must also disable the financial networks used by terrorists.
The Bush administration is preparing new laws to help track terrorists through their money-laundering activity and is readying an executive order freezing the assets of known terrorists. Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities. There must also must be closer coordination among America's law enforcement, national security and financial regulatory agencies.
Osama bin Laden originally rose to prominence because his inherited fortune allowed him to bankroll Arab volunteers fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Since then, he has acquired funds from a panoply of Islamic charities and illegal and legal businesses, including export-import and commodity trading firms, and is estimated to have as much as $300 million at his disposal.
Some of these businesses move funds through major commercial banks that lack the procedures to monitor such transactions properly. Locally, terrorists can utilize tiny unregulated storefront financial centers, including what are known as hawala banks, which people in South Asian immigrant communities in the United States and other Western countries use to transfer money abroad. Though some smaller financial transactions are likely to slip through undetected even after new rules are in place, much of the financing needed for major attacks could dry up.
Washington should revive international efforts begun during the Clinton administration to pressure countries with dangerously loose banking regulations to adopt and enforce stricter rules. These need to be accompanied by strong sanctions against doing business with financial institutions based in these nations. The Bush administration initially opposed such measures. But after the events of Sept. 11, it appears ready to embrace them.
The Treasury Department also needs new domestic legal weapons to crack down on money laundering by terrorists. The new laws should mandate the identification of all account owners, prohibit transactions with "shell banks" that have no physical premises and require closer monitoring of accounts coming from countries with lax banking laws. Prosecutors, meanwhile, should be able to freeze more easily the assets of suspected terrorists. The Senate Banking Committee plans to hold hearings this week on a bill providing for such measures. It should be approved and signed into law by President Bush.
New regulations requiring money service businesses like the hawala banks to register and imposing criminal penalties on those that do not are scheduled to come into force late next year. The effective date should be moved up to this fall, and rules should be strictly enforced the moment they take effect. If America is going to wage a new kind of war against terrorism, it must act on all fronts, including the financial one.
If America is going to wage a war against terrorism, it must indeed act on all fronts. In 2006, it needs to act on the home front and direct its attention to those whose war on the administration is unconstrained by the espionage laws of the United States.
In Florida, seven men are under arrest for allegedly plotting terrorist attacks. Some say that it is all a ploy by the government, that they were "just talking," that they were too inept to do more than plan, that they had no actual weapons or explosives, just talking big.
In North Korea, Kim Jong-Il is likely to be testing his first intercontinental ballistic missile. While many consider this a grave cause for alarm, others see it as no big deal. It isn't likely to work. And if it does, he probably doesn't have a functional nuclear warhead to put on it. And if he does, it's too primitive (read: too big and too heavy) to fit on the missile. And even if it does fit the missile, he's not crazy enough to fire a single nuke at the US.
In the Middle East, a group that is part of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization claims to possess biological and chemical weapons. They already have a semi-reliable delivery system in their Qassam rockets, so here the question is whether or not their claim about the weapons is valid.
Meanwhile, their rivals in Hamas (who control the rest of hte Palestinian Authority government) just attacked an Israeli military post inside Israel through a tunnel, killing two soldiers and taking a third (presumably still alive). They are demanding the release of over 400 prisoners in exchange for information regarding him (establishing the Palestinians' own valuation of their own people vs. Israelis -- apparently one Zionist occupier is worth over 400 Palestinians).
And in Iraq, the discovery of over 500 chemical weapons is being minimized and scoffed at by the war's opponents. They were old weapons, not proof of Saddam's renewed WMD programs. They were from before the first Gulf War, and have degraded (but are still dangerous). They weren't stashed anywhere, they were lost and forgotten about.
In each case, the side attempting to minimize the danger here is violating a principle I heard years ago, and have traced back to Major John Christenson, USMC: "Honor the threat."
If someone who you know wishes you harm threatens you, you damned well better presume they have the means to carry out that threat until proven otherwise. Respect your enemy. Assume that they are intelligent and competent, and would not make a threat that they are not prepared to carry out.
This is not a call for paranoia. Threats are not deeds, and should not be grounds for retaliation. But it is a fool who hears the threats and ignores them.
Some religious nuts in Florida are talking about blowing up buildings in Allah's name? Well, threats like that alone are crimes. It might be easier to win a conviction, and longer sentences, if you wait until they actually take a few concrete steps towards doing so, but by that time it could be too late.
Some nutcase is threatening to nuke the US, and is pretty certain to have a couple of nukes on hand, and wants to test a missile to deliver it? Sounds like a good time to test a few things of our own -- such as our missile defense program and our counterstrike capability. If he doesn't follow international protocols and fires off his "test" missile without telling the world "this is a test, this is only a test," treat it as a live missile. Try to shoot it down, and simultaneously level the launch base. And a few other related bases. And a few more military targets, just for good measure.
Terrorists claim to have biological and chemical weapons to put on the rockets they're already using to bombard you? Announce that the next rocket fired will be presumed to be tipped with just such weapons, and massive retaliation will commence even before it hits the ground. The launch area of the missile will be levelled. Suspected assembly points of such missiles will be levelled. And any member of the terrorist organizations will be considered fair game, along with anyone stupid or unfortunate enough to be in the immediate proximity of the terrorists.
A nation with a past history of possessing and using WMDs, a history of aggressive war against its neighbors, and a nation defeated and forced to comply with disarming treaties to end a prior war, refused to cooperate with agreed-upon inspections and hints to its neighbors that if they strike in his moment of weakness, he will retaliate with WMDs? Who fires on those enforcing the terms of his surrender? Who supports terrorists openly? Who is organizing massive bribe attempts to get those crushing sanctions lifted? He's broken enough of his agreements; take down his government once and for all.
In each case, the actual danger posed is not likely, not imminent, not a huge cause for concern. But in each case, it is sufficient, and the motivation of the threatening party so high, that to not treat it as likely is too great.
After all, five years ago, who would have thought that less than two dozen guys armed with stuff you can buy at a dollar store for less than 20 bucks could end up killing almost 3,000 people in one morning?
"Honor the threat." Those who don't very often end up dead, with a very stupid-looking surprised look on their face.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Lt. Tom Cotton writes this morning from Baghdad with a word for the New York Times:
Dear Messrs. Keller, Lichtblau & Risen:
Congratulations on disclosing our government's highly classified anti-terrorist-financing program (June 23). I apologize for not writing sooner. But I am a lieutenant in the United States Army and I spent the last four days patrolling one of the more dangerous areas in Iraq. (Alas, operational security and common sense prevent me from even revealing this unclassified location in a private medium like email.)
Unfortunately, as I supervised my soldiers late one night, I heard a booming explosion several miles away. I learned a few hours later that a powerful roadside bomb killed one soldier and severely injured another from my 130-man company. I deeply hope that we can find and kill or capture the terrorists responsible for that bomb. But, of course, these terrorists do not spring from the soil like Plato's guardians. No, they require financing to obtain mortars and artillery shells, priming explosives, wiring and circuitry, not to mention for training and payments to locals willing to emplace bombs in exchange for a few months' salary. As your story states, the program was legal, briefed to Congress, supported in the government and financial industry, and very successful.
Not anymore. You may think you have done a public service, but you have gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis here. Next time I hear that familiar explosion -- or next time I feel it -- I will wonder whether we could have stopped that bomb had you not instructed terrorists how to evade our financial surveillance.
And, by the way, having graduated from Harvard Law and practiced with a federal appellate judge and two Washington law firms before becoming an infantry officer, I am well-versed in the espionage laws relevant to this story and others -- laws you have plainly violated. I hope that my colleagues at the Department of Justice match the courage of my soldiers here and prosecute you and your newspaper to the fullest extent of the law. By the time we return home, maybe you will be in your rightful place: not at the Pulitzer announcements, but behind bars.
Very truly yours,
Friday, June 23, 2006
John Kerry voted for the war in Iraq before he voted against it. It’s a lie invented by the GOP propaganda machine and obediently repeated ad nauseum by the right-wing media in a concerted effort to falsely portray a decorated war hero thrice wounded in Vietnam as a spineless waffler who wouldn’t wipe his own backside without first checking the public opinion polls. But in truth, Kerry has always been opposed to the illegal and immoral war in Iraq. He was simply waiting until the voters had matured enough emotionally to agree with him. Now that all the polls indicate that most Americans believe the entire War on Terror is a complete waste of time, the esteemed senator from Massachusetts feels we’re at last ready to support his call for a complete and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq.
Make no mistake, this is NOT a retreat, but merely a phased "redeployment" of our troops back to the States, where they can be reunited with their loved ones and then tried for possible war crimes. There’s no shame is running away and living to fight another day – preferably while wearing a baby blue helmet. Indeed, it takes a strong man to swallow his pride and turn the other cheek in the face of adversity. Think of all the lives that would have been spared if on that sixth day of June, 1944, Gen. Eisenhower had put his enormous ego aside and brought our boys home, rather than force them to storm a silly beach in an illegal and immoral war against a country that never attacked us. Imagine if Jingus Khan had the courage to end his reign of terror and redeploy his troops back to Mongolia, rather than continue to burn and pillage in a fashion reminiscent of the United States Marine Corps. Imagine all the people living life in peace.
Sadly, the chickenhawk-controlled congress doesn’t have the guts to flee like real men, and essentially told Kerry to take his amendment and "redeploy" it to a certain area of his anatomy. However, the measure went over gangbusters with Al Qaeda, a testament to Sen. Kerry’s skill as a diplomat. If John Kerry can find common ground with a sworn enemy of the United States, just think of the kind of president he’ll make.
Sometimes you really have to wonder if The New York Times is on the Al Queda payroll. Not content with exposing, and thus making worthless the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program, the Old Gray Lady has a lengthy exclusive on a CIA/Treasury Department program to monitor financial transaction of suspected terrorists.
Much like the NSA phone taps this program simply monitors wire and financial transfers from a Belgian clearinghouse (Swift) that is a nerve center for billions of dollars worth of international financial transactions. Counter-terrorism officials say that it has been a valuable tool in fighting the war on terror and identifying previously unknown terrorists, as well as bolstering cases against others.
There are specific successes the government can point to from this program.
The Swift data has provided clues to terror money trails and ties between possible terrorists and organizations financing them, the officials said. In some instances, they said, the program has pointed them to new suspects, while in others it has buttressed cases already under investigation.
Among the successes was the capture of a Qaeda operative, Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, believed to be the mastermind of the 2002 bombing of a Bali resort, several officials said. The Swift data identified a previously unknown figure in Southeast Asia who had financial dealings with a person suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda; that link helped locate Hambali in Thailand in 2003, they said.
In the United States, the program has provided financial data in investigations into possible domestic terrorist cells as well as inquiries of Islamic charities with suspected of having links to extremists, the officials said.
The data also helped identify a Brooklyn man who was convicted on terrorism-related charges last year, the officials said. The man, Uzair Paracha, who worked at a New York import business, aided a Qaeda operative in Pakistan by agreeing to launder $200,000 through a Karachi bank, prosecutors said.
In terrorism prosecutions, intelligence officials have been careful to “sanitize,” or hide the origins of evidence collected through the program to keep it secret, officials said.
Swift, a former government official said, was “the mother lode, the Rosetta stone” for financial data.
Read that again. Because of this program, lives have been saved and terrorists have been captured. So what’s the big deal about it? Well the NYT has found several anonymous sources (who must remain anonymous BECAUSE IT’S A CLASSIFIED PROGRAM) that had “concerns” about the scope and reach of the program.
Let’s get one thing straight. These leakers are violating the law and endangering national security. They should go straight to jail, and have done a great disservice to the country they claim to serve.
The most galling part is that both Republicans and Democrats specifically asked the NYT not to publish the story because of the nature and success of the program. Did the Times care? Of course not. Check out this mealy-mouthed explanation for exposing a program that keeps Americans safe.
The Bush administration has made no secret of its campaign to disrupt terrorist financing, and President Bush, Treasury officials and others have spoken publicly about those efforts. Administration officials, however, asked The New York Times not to publish this article, saying that disclosure of the Swift program could jeopardize its effectiveness. They also enlisted several current and former officials, both Democrat and Republican, to vouch for its value.
Bill Keller, the newspaper’s executive editor, said: “We have listened closely to the administration’s arguments for withholding this information, and given them the most serious and respectful consideration. We remain convinced that the administration’s extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use of it may be, is a matter of public interest.”
Can anyone tell me why this program is a matter of public interest? The monitoring is done overseas, and does not involve monitoring purely domestic transactions (although I wouldn’t see the problem if it did). An outside auditor was hired to safeguard against abuses, and under International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the President had the “investigate, regulate or prohibit” foreign transactions in responding to “an unusual and extraordinary threat.”
But now, thanks to fine folks at The New York Times, yet another effective tool in the war on terror has been exposed to the enemy, despite the fact that no one can point to any legal problem with the program and that it has been effective in capturing those who would kill us.
I can’t wait to hear the Patrick Leahy’s and Chucky Schumer’s of the world get in front of the microphones to attack the President on this one. Much like the NSA Terrorist Surveillance program, I predict the Dems and the MSM will overplay their hand. Americans with common sense and who actually want to win the war on terror won’t be able to see what the big deal is about this program, and in fact would probably be upset if we weren’t doing it.
But many Democrats and nearly all of the MSM are so disconnected from common sense Americans. This story is only a big deal in the echo chambers of the Democrat caucus room, the MSNBC studios, and the newsroom of the NYT.
But the NYT should look on the bright side - they’ll still be on Al Queda’s Christmas, er, Ramadan, card list.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Meanwhile in Washington, the Democrats are determined to leave Iraq and are preparing a resolution to do so. It's an understandable impulse. Iraq is hard and bloody, requiring excesses of courage far beyond the children's courage of the Democrats: up for it if it's easy, the hell with it if it's not. Men like Menchaca and Tucker had to call on excess courage every day to keep themselves together. It's courage that few civilian Americans know anything about, thanks to our all volunteer military that has effectively created a new class structure in our country: the warrior class, the working class, and the coffee/Internet cafe class (wireless access, please).
The Democrats are not interested in abstract principles like national honor and have never been willing to absorb the lessons of appeasement taught in the years prior to World War II and during various stages of the Cold War. Their last presidential candidate, John Kerry, advocated recently that we pull out of Iraq by the end of 2006. Then he said that maybe we could pull out by summer 2007. It's anyone's guess whether the butchery of two more of our soldiers and the desecration of their bodies will move his capitulation schedule forward or back.
Then you have the Republicans, led by our silent President. Though they have gotten plenty things wrong, including fighting the war with too few troops, they have gotten one big thing right: leaving too soon means defeat. For this, if not for other things, the President deserves credit. Resisting the chorus of doomsayers -- and the very much alive Vietnam syndrome -- over the last three years has required extraordinary political will.
Yet even with that hardiness, Bush makes conservatives miss Ronald Reagan much more often than he reminds them of him. The killing of Menchaca and Tucker is a case in point. The President was at a U.S.-E.U. meeting in Vienna and did not deign to comment on the kidnapping and butchering of the two soldiers, both rare events in this conflict that are chock-full of propaganda value for the enemy, especially when their boasts are left unanswered. It is impossible to imagine Reagan falling silent at such a time. On the contrary, it is easy to imagine what Reagan might say, and easier still to conjure the tone and manner in which he would say it.
No one, at this late date, expects President Bush to duplicate Reagan's oratory, but his silence so far is another example of his failure to recognize important symbolic moments until after they have passed. Presidents do a lot of things through back channel means that we never know about, but they also have a public role, especially in a time of war. On the whole, over nearly six years, Bush has been dreadful at this important part of the job.
A few weeks back, he was shamefully mealy-mouthed about the allegations against the Marines in Haditha. All he could manage was a pledge to punish the guilty, and he said nothing in support of the Marine Corps in general, which should have been the thrust of his comments. Instead, he seemed more concerned with demonstrating to the enemy, and the media, what a sensitive war he is running.
All of this makes me wonder whether we have enough outrage -- at least in Washington -- to prevail in this struggle. The enemy has plenty, of course, and not much else. We have rationalism and pluralism and a whole lot of other things that make us proud, and they're part of what we're fighting for, and fighting with. But wars aren't won on rationalism alone, though they can surely be lost that way.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
I'm not a movie guy but I did see and enjoy Forrest Gump.
The most memorable part of "Forrest Gump" is a scene set in or around 1968, in which Forrest, who by the way served in Vietnam, has encountered his love interest, Jenny, at an antiwar rally in Washington. Jenny gets into an argument with her hippie boyfriend, who slaps her in the face. Forrest decks the hippie, who later tries to smooth things over with Jenny: "Things got a little out of hand," he tells her. "It's just this war and that lying son of a bitch, Johnson! I would never hurt you. You know that."
This wonderfully encapsulated the worst aspects of baby-boomer liberalism: the narcissism thinly disguised as idealism, the self-pity and flight from accountability, the tendency to lash out at those to whom one owes loyalty.
We were reminded of this by last week's congressional debate on Iraq. Sen. John Kerry*, who voted for the war before turning against it, said last week that he planned to introduce a resolution calling for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. But as the Associated Press reports, when Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky introduced Kerry's resolution pre-emptively, "Kerry called the vote 'fictitious.' "
The resolution failed on a 93-6 procedural vote, though at least Kerry, unlike Rep. John Murtha, had the courage of his convictions, such as they are: Kerry was among the six voting not to "table" the resolution. (The other five were California's Barbara Boxer, Iowa's Tom Harkin, Massachusetts' Ted Kennedy, West Virginia's Robert Byrd and Wisconsin's Russ Feingold. Harkin, like Kerry, was originally a war supporter.)
In a speech last Tuesday, Kerry explained his metamorphosis from warmonger to cut-and-runner: "It is essential to acknowledge that the war itself was a mistake--to say the simple words . . . that contain more truth than pride. We were misled. We were given evidence that was not true." That lying SOB, Johnson!
The House, meanwhile, voted 256-153 in favor of a resolution that, in the AP's description, "praises U.S. troops, labels the Iraq war part of the larger global fight against terrorism and says an 'arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment' of troops is not in the national interest." Forty-two Democrats supported the resolution; only three Republicans opposed it. Murtha, this time, voted "no."
Democrats criticized Senate Republicans for "gamesmanship" (the AP's word) in putting the Kerry proposal up for a vote, while in the House, Democrats "complained that Republicans refused to allow them to present an alternative resolution--though Democrats weren't able to agree on just what to offer."
Murtha, who has emerged as the House leader of the cut-and-run caucus, showed up on "Meet the Press" Sunday morning and claimed there is a historical precedent for what he proposes to do:
When we went to Beirut, I, I said to President Reagan, "Get out." Now, the other day we were doing a debate, and they said, "Well, Beirut was a different situation. We cut and run." We didn't cut and run. President Reagan made the decision to change direction because he knew he couldn't win it. Even in Somalia, President Clinton made the decision, "We have to, we have to change direction. . . ."
Is Murtha really holding up Beirut and Somalia as examples of great leadership? One can argue that these interventions were ill advised in the first place, and that at least from a tactical standpoint it made sense to get out. But strategically, the withdrawals were disastrous, because they reinforced the impression that the U.S. lacks staying power and will withdraw its military in the face of adversity--which is just what Murtha now proposes to do.
Murtha also argued for abandoning Iraq on the ground that Karl Rove could stand to lose a few pounds:
He's, he's in New Hampshire. He's making a political speech. He's sitting in his air conditioned office with his big, fat backside, saying, "Stay the course." That's not a plan. I mean, this guy--I don't know what his military experience is, but that's a political statement. This is a policy difference between me and the White House. I disagree completely with what he's saying.
OK, first of all, criticizing someone's looks is just unkind. Not everyone can be as handsome and fit as John Murtha. But also, was Rove any thinner in 2002, when Murtha voted for the war?
Democratic pols who have their fingers to the wind (as distinct from consistent Iraq opponents like Byrd and Feingold) seem to think that talking about withdrawal from Iraq is a political winner. But as shown by last week's votes, fewer of them are convinced that actually moving toward withdrawal is a political winner.
Most Americans, we'd venture, would like to see an end to the fighting in Iraq; but most, we'd also venture, understand that leaving without winning is a very bad idea. Democrats want Republicans to pay a political price for committing the country to a war that some people now regret supporting--but many of them want to avoid responsibility for both their own past backing of the war and their future plans.
As Kerry said last week, "we cannot have it both ways in the war in Iraq." If only he would follow his own advice.
Monday, June 19, 2006
North Korea is treading on dangerous territory these days. According to new intelligence photos, the communist country is going to be testing a long-range ballistic missile...one capable of reaching the continental United States. The missiles appear to be fueled up and ready to go..on a remote section of North Korea's coast. The missile is large enough to carry a nuclear weapon.
So what is North Korea up to? Why would they need such a weapon? Well, yesterday North Korea issued a statement promising to "mercilessly wipe out" US forces in the event of war. Oh really. So why exactly are we allowing all of this to happen? Perhaps George Bush should go on TV instructing North Korea to put their missile away or we will do it for them. That would send a message to them right back.
We didn't tolerate missiles in Cuba pointed at the United States and we shouldn't tolerate one in North Korea pointed at the United States. But this is what you get when you "negotiate" with a rogue thug like the insane Kim Jong-Il. We have been negotiating with North Korea for years. The Clinton administration even sent the Secretary of State to make a worthless agreement with that nutcase...one that he immediately broke.
They've done this before...in 1998. North Korea fired a missile over Japan..without warning. Japan says North Korea can expect a harsh response from the United States if they do it again. Why should we wait?
It's not even been two weeks since Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was whacked by a 500-pound bomb, and already the Democrats are back to their familiar strategy. At the time when there is good evidence that the Iraqi insurgency is on the run, the Democrats' strategy is simple: it's time to cut and run. Bring the troops home. The war is a failure, they say.
Well, that didn't take long, did it?
Speaking on CNN yesterday, California Senator Dianne Feinstein had the following rosy prediction: "Three years and three months into the war, with all of the losses, the insurgency, the burgeoning civil war that's taking place -- what was it, seven bombings in Baghdad yesterday? An open-ended time commitment is no longer sustainable." I'm sure the troops are humbled by her overwhelming show of support.
This is the same message we've been getting from the left for 3 years, only now they're more desperate. With the death of Al Zarqawi many Democrats started to panic. Could things be turning Bush's way? Could the new Iraqi government actually become a stabilizing force in Middle Eastern politics? This simply cannot be allowed to happen! Bush must fail! So ... back to the old game plan. Stir up the debate on withdrawal. Divert minds from the successes and concentrate on bringing the troops home. Failure in Iraq is not too great a price to pay for a Democrat victory in November. Think about it .... without being able to run against the war in Iraq, they don't have much.
Yes .. in case you're wondering ... I absolutely do believe that Democrats would eagerly trade a failure of U.S. policy in Iraq for an election victory in November; such is their hatred of George Bush and their continuing resentment over the voter revolution of 1994.
Any timetable...any announcement of a date by which we are going to leave...would do nothing more than empower the terrorists who would lie in wait until we left, then take over. The war in Iraq has gotten it's second wind...and things are starting to go our way. Just as the insurgents in Baghdad want us to fail there, the Democrats in Washington (except Joe Lieberman) are rooting for the failure of the entire mission.
And with the mainstream media in their back pocket, they hope to make that a reality.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Today the House of Representatives debated Resolution 861 on the Iraq war. You can read the full text of the resolution here. After some "Whereas" clauses, the resolution reads:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
(1) honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror, whether as first responders protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, or in other roles;
(2) honors the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom;
(3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;
(4) declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;
(5) congratulates Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown by participating, in increasing millions, in the elections of 2005 and on the formation of the first government under Iraq’s new constitution;
(6) calls upon the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners to support the efforts of the Iraqi and Afghan people to live in freedom; and
(7) declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.
The Democrats fought bitterly to prevent this resolution from coming to the floor for a vote. They opposed it in the Rules Committee on a party-line vote. The last thing the Dems want to do is to state what their policy on Iraq is; they prefer to simply sit back and hope for failure.
As a matter of raw political cynicism, I understand that. Still, it's a little hard to understand why Resolution 861 should be so controversial. I can find only one clause that could rationally be a subject of disagreement:
(3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq.
But that isn't what the Democrats are debating. Instead, they are reciting the whole litany of moonbat nonsense that we've seen on the lefty blogs for the last two years. Take, for example, Jane Harman, as quoted by Hugh Hewett. What Harman says is so foolish and so obviously contrary to fact that it demands a sentence-by-sentence refutation:
Overriding the advice of intelligence professionals, Adminsitration officials put stock in bogus sources like "Curveball" and self-promoters like Ahmed Chalabi.
It was the CIA that put stock in Curveball et al. The suggestion that the administration "overrode" the "advice of intelligence professionals" is ridiculous. In October 2002, the intelligence agencies provided the administration with their Consensus Intelligence Estimate with regard to Iraq. The agencies told the administration with "High Confidence" that "Iraq possesses proscribed chemical and biological weapons and missiles." If the administration erred, it was by relying on the intelligence agencies, not "overriding" them.
The Adminsitration cherry-picked intelligence, and hyped the threat.
The administration didn't "cherry-pick," it went with the consensus of all of the nation's intelligence agencies. And, far from hyping the threat posed by Saddam, President Bush's characterizations were actually more cautious than the warnings that came from Democrats like John Kerry.
They talked in ominous tones about mushroom clouds even though many questioned evidence suggesting Saddam had nuclear weapons capability.
To my knowledge, no one ever said that Saddam had "nuclear weapons capability." What the Consensus Intelligence Estimate did say, with "High Confidence" was:
Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions....Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons grade fissile material.
And, with "Moderate Confidence":
Iraq does not yet have a nuclear weapon or sufficient material to make one but is likely to have a weapon by 2007 to 2009.
Ms. Harman continues:
They made a mantra of the claim that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi agents in Prague, a claim that has been thoroughly discredited.
This is ridiculous. The administration never asserted that Atta met with Iraqi agents, let alone made it a "mantra." In fact, here is what Vice President Dick Cheney said about the Atta report:
With respect to 9/11, of course you've had the story that's been publicly out there: The Czechs alleged that Mohammed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack. But we've never been able to develop any more of that yet, either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just don't know.
And, of course, the story has not been discredited. The Czechs stand by it, and there is circumstantial evidence that supports it. The supposedly definitive refutation--that a cell phone registered to Atta was used inside the United States during the time he reportedly was in Prague--is risible.
The Democrats are so patently dishonest every time they talk about foreign affairs that there is simply no way any thinking, informed American could entrust leadership of our country to them.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
It seems that Dan “Fake But Accurate” Rather will have a lot more time to verify the authenticity of George Bush’s National Guard documents (an effort that to date has been matched only by OJ Simpson’s search “for the real the killers” in its intensity and progress). According to Howard Kurtz, CBS is going to give the lefty MSM dinosaur the heave-ho before the end of the year. (And why do I believe when it does happen that the New York Times headline will be “Unemployment Rate Rising Under Bush Administration”?)
CBS executives have decided there is no future role at the network for Dan Rather, making it certain that the man who sat in the anchor chair for 24 years will depart by this fall.
These executives recognize Rather’s contributions over four decades and are not trying to boot him because of the controversy surrounding his botched story on President Bush and the National Guard, say network sources who declined to be named while discussing a sensitive personnel matter.
Rather has said several times that “my best work is still ahead of me.” He is described by friends as hurt and puzzled by the attitude of CBS management.
I can just picture Dan sitting at an chair in an empty TV studio, but instead of saying “Courage”, he is repeating “Puzzled”. Hey Dan, buddy, let me help you out with this.
The reason your on your way out is because in your bias you were so excited to think you had the goods that would bring down a conservative President that you and Mary Mapes got snookered by a kook who faxed you stuff from a Kinko’s in Abilene.
What’s worse, you stuck by that story for weeks after it had been blown out of the water. And even then in your supreme arrogance and blinded by Bush hatred you continued to insist that the story was “fake, but accurate”. Sorry Danno, but you failed miserably, and to wonder why it is that they want you the hell out of there shows just how incompetent you’ve become. Thankfully the “new media” is out there, because just 5 years ago Rather’s fraud might not have been uncovered.
It’s sure to stick in your craw every day that it was a group of “the great unwashed” (a/k/a those not in the MSM) that brought you down. And you know what? Instead of blaming the messenger you should look at yourself and realize that what brought you down was your own hubris, arrogance, and letting your personal desire to believe the story cloud whatever objectivity you had.
Rather you got famous, in part, for standing up to Richard Nixon at a press conference. In his final days in office Nixon was said to be wandering the White House having “conversations” with paintings of his predecessors. Somehow I can picture you, Danno, doing something similar, screaming about his getting fired while Karl Rove remains free to beat Democrats in elections.
You know that old saying “Life’s not fair”? In most cases it’s true. But there are exceptions to every rule. And Dan Rather getting fired is one of those exceptions.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Out in California, there is an "urban garden" in South Central Los Angeles...one that has been used by some 350 people for several years. The only problem: the owner of the 14 acre parcel, Ralph Horowitz, doesn't want them there...he wants to develop the land and build a warehouse. He tried to clear the land to begin construction and that's when all hell broke loose.
Because, you see, it doesn't matter to the farmers that are trespassing nor certain politicians or members of the media who owns the land. To them, they should be allowed to run their gardens as long as they want. Like a lot of liberals, the silly notion of private property rights doesn't matter. So all of this came to a head yesterday in a confrontation on the land, when authorities went to remove all of the protesters.
Enter Hollywood actress Daryl Hannah. Apparently seeing an opportunity for a little publicity, Hannah decided to climb up in a tree and protest. It wasn't until officials started cutting away the branches and sent up a fire truck lift that she decided to end her protest. Now, keep in mind that this guy owned the land fair and square...and it was zoned for warehouses and factories. Look at some of these quotes, first from Daryl Hannah: "I'm very confident this is the morally right thing to do, to take a principled stand in solidarity with the farmers." Morally right? How? Can we just come over to her house and plant our garden?
But even more ridiculous is the response from L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who said the evictions of the farmers was "unfortunate and disheartening." How? Why? Again, can we all come to Mayor Villaraigosa's house and plant our garden? How would he like it if people didn't respect his land?
Once again, when it comes to government, the mainstream media and the Hollywood left, private property rights don't mean anything. It's all about the "right thing to do," whatever that means.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
title="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/13/washington/13cnd-leak.html?ei=5090&en=f7fad582498bbbc5&ex=1307851200&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/13/washington/13cnd-leak.html?ei=5090&amp;en=f7fad582498bbbc5&ex=1307851200&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all">It Ain't So, Joe
On the first day of Fitzmas
Fitzgerald gave to me
An indictment of Scooter Libby
On the second day of Fitzmas
Fitzgerald gave to me
Uh, nothing! Damn it!
Well, that was quite a kerfuffle, wasn't it? Let's flash back to July 2003, when The Nation's David Corn relayed Joe Wilson's claim that the White House had "leaked" the name of his wife, Valerie Plame:
Without acknowledging whether she is a deep-cover CIA employee, Wilson says, "Naming her this way would have compromised every operation, every relationship, every network with which she had been associated in her entire career. This is the stuff of Kim Philby and Aldrich Ames." . . .
Under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, it is a crime for anyone who has access to classified information to disclose intentionally information identifying a covert agent. The punishment for such an offense is a fine of up to $50,000 and/or up to ten years in prison.
Wilson famously said he would like to "get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs." The New York Times and other liberal editorial pages demanded the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate who gave accurate information to journalists, though it apparently didn't occur to them that finding that out would entail calling journalists to testify. (Now they are vigorously defending their First Amendment right to disclose things that really are secret.) The Justice Department complied.
Today Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, told the Times that the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, had formally advised Rove that he will not be charged. It appears the investigation is over, except for the forthcoming trial of Scooter Libby on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice--wrongdoing that allegedly took place entirely after the investigation began.
This has got to be the worst day for the Angry Left since at least last Thursday. It would not be an exaggeration to call the left's enthusiasm over the Plame kerfuffle a case of mass hysteria. For months they have been awaiting "Fitzmas," the day that the grand jury handed up indictments of Rove and--who knows?--maybe even the vice president himself.
Anyway, look around the Web and you can find examples of the Angry Left going through the five stages of grieving:
- Denial. Truthout.org (motto: "If you want the truth, get out of here") "reports" that Rove actually has been indicted. "As of Friday afternoon that indictment, returned by the grand jury the week of May 10th, remains under seal--more than a month after it was handed up by the grand jury. The case number is "06 cr 128." On the federal court's electronic database, '06 cr 128' is listed along with a succinct summary: 'No further information is available.' " Says blogress Christy Smith: "Unless and until I hear it from Patrick Fitzgerald, the investigation continues to be ongoing. Which means that there are still potential developments down the road."
- Bargaining. "This latest news doesn't prove or disprove the basic question of whether Fitzgerald was ready to indict Rove," claims Duncan "Atrios" Black. "It's quite likely Rove has cut a deal of some sort. It's quite possible that Fitz's letter to Luskin, which hasn't been made public as far as I can tell, says something along the lines of 'as long as you cooperate as promised your ass is safe for now.' " Black's employer, Media Mutters, says maybe Rove will lose his security clearance for--well, for what isn't quite clear.
- Anger. "He doesn't belong in the White House. If the president valued America more than he valued his connection to Karl Rove, Karl Rove would have been fired a long time ago," says Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean on the "Today" show. "So I think this is probably good news for the White House, but it's not very good news for America."
- Despair. "My Heart Is Broken, My Spirit Crushed, My Faith in America Destroyed," declares "Dementer" on DemocraticUnderground.com. "On the other hand, I am sure that there are numerous other criminal enterprises that Kkkarl [sic] has participated in, so we just have to keep digging. Perhaps Fitz is doing just that--he has the license to do so. Or am I approaching the definition of insanity, here?"
- Acceptance. "I think the chances are nil that Luskin is making this up since that'd be practically daring Patrick Fitzgerald to indict his client," says Josh Marshall, who had been one of the most credulous cheerleaders. "Whatever else he may be . . ., he's no fool." Though Marshall must be feeling quite foolish for having been one of Wilson's most enthusiastic and credulous cheerleaders way back when.
Drudge notes that many Angry Left Web sites have been strangely quiet, though MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who according to Drudge has predicted Rove's indictment at least 26 times, does comment: "It is the 'Perfect Storm' of baseball scandals."
Monday, June 12, 2006
I was reading Ann Coulter's "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," when all the hell broke loose last week. At that point I had not reached the chapter which contained her comments on the 9/11 widows ... so I didn't see the firestorm coming. Now we have Coulter being portrayed as an alien monster and elected officials demanding that her book be banned.
Did Ann Coulter go over the edge a bit with her comments about The Jersey Girls? Possibly. Rather than write that they were enjoying their husband's deaths in the Twin Towers, perhaps Coulter could have said that they were enjoying the attention they've been getting since the terrorist attacks. That comment would have been certainly correct, and far less inflammatory.
The fact is that in her general comments about these 9/11 widows, Coulter got it essentially right. The left most definitely has refined the technique of taking someone deserving of a great deal of public sympathy, and then turning that person into a propaganda machine for the left. The obvious goal here is to create a spokesman that cannot be attacked ... one who's essentially bulletproof. Cindy Sheehan certainly fits that bill. The left would have us believe that to attack anything said by these people is off limits due to the suffering they have experienced. We saw this very concept at work in the defense of Sheehan.
When you think about it, Hillary Clinton has even approached this bulletproof status in some ways. She's a woman, and she's a woman who has endured public humiliation at the hands of her philandering husband. As such, some would say that she is beyond criticism. We've seen examples-a-plenty where Hillary's critics have been criticized for saying such things about a woman, and a long-suffering loyal wife at that!
Back to Coulter's book. I think it is brilliant. Sure, I might not agree with her characterizations of the 9/11 widows, but the larger point she was making there was wholly valid. Throughout the entire book Coulter does an excellent job of showing liberals for what they are. It is one of the most effective and hard-hitting writings of the absurdities, inconsistencies, and outright lies of today's dominant liberal elite in this country.
That is why Ann Coulter must be destroyed!
What you saw last week .. and will see continue into this week ... is a driven attempt by the left in this country, and especially the leftist media, to so completely demonize Ann Coulter as to destroy here effectiveness as a writer and conservative pundit. The focus will continue to be on this one portion of the book relating to the professional widows, without any commentary on the thousands of other very valid points she brought up. Ann Coulter sells a hell of a lot of books. There is no liberal writer out there who comes close, a point not lost on the left.
So, how far is the left willing to go in their efforts to destroy one of our best conservative writers? Well, we now have two New Jersey Democrats (state legislators) who have announced that they want Coulter's books banned in New Jersey. That's right. Banned. They weren't happy just to urge people not to buy the book, they actually want to use the police power of the New Jersey State Government to prevent the books from being sold in the first place! This is America? They're names, by the way, are Joan Quigley and Linda Stender. We'll note that unless we have some rather odd family names at work here, they're both women. These two ladies issued a press release last Friday that was carefully crafted to contain two dominant leftist trigger words. In that release they said;
"Ann Coulter's criticism of 9-11 widows, whose only desire since the attacks have been to repair their shattered lives and protect other families from the horrors they have experienced, is motivated purely by petty greed and hate. .... Coulter's vicious characterizations and remarks are motivated by greed and her desire to sell books . . . She is a leech trying to turn a profit off perverting the suffering of others."
You got the two trigger words, didn't you? "Greed" and "hate." Remember, to a liberal, anyone who makes money in an endeavor frowned upon by liberals is "greedy" and any person who expresses an idea contrary to basic liberal dogma is preaching "hate." How shallow these people are.
At any rate ... please don't let the left scare you off. They've taken one paragraph from an excellent book and are using that section in an attempt to have Ann Coulter banished to some writer's leper colony on the dark side of the Moon. Hopefully they're boosting sales, rather than hurting them.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Don't take Ambium as I did, but after a few hits of glaucoma medication, I calmed down enough to write an actual review.
Right-wing hatemonger and purveyor of hate, Ann "Nazi Bitch" Coulter, has upchucked another one of her hateful hatemongering tomes of hate and, as expected, it is packed with her typical hate-filled rhetoric, lies, half truths, and lies. Indeed, there are so many things wrong with this book that I don’t know where to begin. Let’s start, then, with the entire premise.
Coulter’s ignorant assertion that liberals are “godless” is beyond the pale, sagging, cottage cheese-filled angora socks she calls her breasts. In her sheer stupidity, she completely ignores the fact that it is we, the enlightened Progressives of America, who more closely adhere to the altruistic teachings of Christ. Was it not Jesus and his Mary Chain who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor? Was it not Christ himself who stood upon the Mound of Avocados and proclaimed, “Merrily I say unto you, give unto others what belongs unto someone else?” If He didn’t, He should have, and Coulter would do well to remember it the next time Republicans cut taxes, stealing food from the very mouths of the poor and putting it right into the pockets of the wealthy.
Even Ann, with her adam’s apple the size of a bowling ball, can’t deny the truth: If Christ really did exist (rather than being something the Pope made up to ruin everyone’s good time), He’d most certainly be a card-carrying, Big Tent Democrat, in full agreement with the core principles of the People’s Party. In her irrational hatred for all things fluffy, Coulter and her evangelical ilk have hijacked Christ’s message of love and acquiescence to parasites, twisting it into a hate-filled instrument of self-righteous intolerance. Let us not forget that this is the same Ann Coulter who, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, turned the blame away from Bush and rushed to accuse Middle Eastern Muslim males with smoking trousers, demanding we “invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity”. I doubt Christ would approve of such an attitude, or of Coulter, for that matter - even though He did have a soft spot for prostitutes. Just look at her smirking so smugly on that book jacket, as if she knows anything at all about what it means to be a true Christian. I wish she’d get hit by a bus and dragged for 30 miles over broken glass and rusty razor blades until her entire body breaks out in festering, pus-filled sores. Goddess, she makes me want to POUND MY FACE INTO MY KEYBOARD OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER UNTIL SHARDS OF MY BROKEN NOSE LODGE IN MY BRAIN, KILLING ME INSTANTLY SO I NEVER HAVE TO LOOK AT THAT SMIRKING NAZI CAKEHOLE OF HERS EVER AGAIN!
Furthermore, Coulter’s presumption that liberalism is a religion in and of itself doesn’t hold water, any more than she can hold her hairy legs together for five minutes. While I consider myself spiritual, I am by no means religious. By definition, a religion requires a belief in a divine being – a supernatural entity that guides and nurtures his faithful flock through life, rewarding them for their obedience while punishing them for their transgressions against his Divine plan. Well, that’s what the government is for, isn't it? There’s no need in worshipping a giant invisible head in the sky when welfare checks rain down like manna from the heavens, is there? And that’s exactly why bible-thumpers like Ann are so afraid of us.
The apocalyptic dogma of a judgmental clergy holds no power over the sheeple herds when we have benevolent progressive leaders grounded by science, who will tell us we can go right on having casual sex without fear of consequences, but the atmosphere will burn off if we don’t correctly sort our recyclables. Jerry Falwell’s superstitious warnings that 9/11 was God's punishment for abortion may fill the collection plate, but there is strong scientific evidence linking Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of Americans to the destruction of New Orleans – and it can happen again if we continue to vote with our wallets instead of our hearts. It’s called compassion, folks, one of the core principles of both Christianity and Liberalism. Compassion obviously eludes Ann Coulter, who openly mocks Cindy Sheehan, a grieving mother who sacrificed her only begotten son so that the peace movement may live. I hope Coulter overdoses on whatever diet pills she’s been popping and chokes to death on her own vomit, and it takes them THREE MONTHS to find her ROTTING, BLOATED CORPSE at the bottom of a ditch in Pittsburgh, and they can’t even identify her STINKING REMAINS from her dental records BECAUSE CARNIVOROUS MONKEYS CARRIED OFF ALL HER SPARKLY WHITE TEETH.
In conclusion, Coulter’s latest book is little more than the standard litany of her usual lies. Nothing but lies, lies, lies, from the stomach turning cover to the 78 pages of footnotes at the end. It’s hardly worth even bothering to read it. I know I certainly won’t.
(Soooo Bobi, can you see how much fun satire can be?)
Ehren Watada, American Hero
Just when I am convinced that the entire United States Military is full of spineless sheep that mindlessly obey everything they are ordered to do, a brave young Army Lieutenant by the name of Ehren Watada comes along and gives me hope. In an act of unprecedented courage, Watada publicly announced that he will refuse to join his Ft. Lewis Stryker Brigade on their impending deployment to Iraq this month, denouncing the “wholesale slaughter” of the Iraqi people in an “illegal and immoral war” waged for oil, and accusing the U.S. military of war crimes.
What a fine example of the caliber of men we have on the progressive left. Any other soldier would have to be tortured for days, perhaps even weeks before they’d have the courage to say the things Watada said willingly and proudly. They wrenched James Stockdale’s shoulders out of their sockets, shattered his leg, broke his back, and beat him relentlessly for SEVEN LONG YEARS, yet he still didn’t have the testicular fortitude to stand up against the illegal and immoral war in Vietnam. The weasel even slashed his own head with a piece of rusty metal and beat his face bloody with a stool to AVOID going before TV cameras and denouncing the imperialist aggressors so our troops could come home. Thankfully, John Kerry was there to do it for him.
If we had more men like brave Watada in our armed forces, this horrible war would be over in about five minutes. But he’ll probably go to jail for his courage. That coward Stockdale, on the other hand, got a goddamn Medal of Honor.
Paradise Is Overrated
by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi
Former Senior VP, Al-Qaeda In Iraq
Howzit swingin', fagsicles? Yeah, I know all you bitzoches all seen the pictures by now. Go on and laugh it up chump, like your drivers license photo is all George fuckin' Clooney. Personally I think I'm lookin' straight GQ, seeing as I just got a 500-pound laser guided curb stomp. Shit cuz, y'all should see Kahlid, a.k.a. "Ceiling Spackle." But, hey, whateva. You kuffar haters can finally step off my nuts, 'cause I. am. outtahere. Y'all can just suck it, 'cause Zarkman got his free pass to Allah's celestial Disneyland.
You think I didn't see this martyrdom goatshit coming? Cracka, please. When we were out in the boondocks filming that recruiting infomercial last month, I told that asshole Zawahiri that it was dangerous, that Team Satan would lock in on us with one of their outer space high tech computer gizmos. But nooooooo, he's all, "don't worry, they need an NSA warrant," and then he's like, "we have to attack the mindshare gap with a high GRP, Total Quality Jihad leadership marcom message." Which apparently means I have to stand there under Team Satan's goddamn spy satellites, yelling like the goddamn OxyClean guy, burning my goddamn hand on a goddamn machine gun barrel, while that goddamn director Omar Al-Spielberg asks for another goddamn take. Yeah, that's some world class marketing strategery there, Ayman. Best ad campaign since Pets.com. Have fun training all four of those Syrian droolers that it brought in.
So yeah, I figured I'd be caught in the next round of downsizing, so I started keeping myself prepared. For example, I shaved my junk every morning this week. Okay, I know what you're thinking: what the fizzuck? But trust me, it's in the Koran, and it's not as weird as it sounds. If you're about to be banging a room full of doe-eyed virgins, you're gonna want those nards Brazilian waxed pornstar style. Plus I guess them foxy heaven hos also appreciate a couple of splashes of cologne so they don't have to smell your stanky sack. It's just common martyr courtesy, and that's why around the AQ office we call Brut "the smell of death".
Pretty good in theory, I guess, but holy dung - you try keeping your nuts Kojak-ed with a 9-month old rusty Schick Quattro and your shaving hand all bandaged from gun barrel burn blisters. Faaack, I must have used up three styptic pencils just since Saturday. And when I slapped 'em with a splash of Hai Karate? Talk about a muthafuckin' STING. Mohammed H. Prophet, I think my scream hit two octaves above a dog whistle.
So anyhow, I got my bidness clean, I got my policy with Mutual of Medina paid up, I had a final family meeting with Fatima and the kids. "Are you going to paradise, Father?" says that teenaged one, what's-her-burqqa. "Yeah, but I'll have people watching out for you," I says. "So if you're even thinking about any of that clan dishonor shit, you better watch your back."
Okay, Thursday morning. I clock in at the office, pour a mug of tea, fire up the laptop and check out the latest posts on dKos. Sure, I've had my differences with them in the past. But with morale the way it is Allah knows we need a good laugh around here, and that shit is funnier than Homestar Runner. They had a new parody up, and I swear it had me roaring so hard I was on the verge of a shit hemorrhage. It had Kahlid laughing to the point of tears, and when he goes to wipe his good eye he almost puts it out with his hook, and then this makes Mahmoud squirt tea through his nose, and then this gets the whole damn office going. We're all just fucking roaring, when suddenly there's this silence, and then a funny high-pitched noise.
Tariq says, "did you just hear th..."
Now, back in the madrassa when we studied the afterlife, I always wondered what would be the last thing to go through my head. I'm pretty sure now it was one of Mahmoud's anklebones. And if you're wondering if it was painless? Imagine a full-frontal 800 degree root canal while listening to a Neil Young record. But hey, I figure no big whoop, just the admission price to heaven's eternal ho sammich.
So Zarkman walks toward the light. No shit, it's a lot like 2001: A Space Odyssey, but in 3-D quadrophonic sensurround. And BOOM, plop, I'm in this gigantic white room, completely empty except for this hooded faceless guy and a totally sweet 47" plasma screen. So I walk across the big empy room to the guy, and I'm like, there is but one God, and Mohammed is his messenger, death to the infidels, yada yada yada. So I'm waiting for him to punch my E-ticket for Magic Ho Mountain, when he whips out a DVD and pops it in. It's the director's cut of "This Is Your Life, Zarkman." Sure, there's a lot of blooper material in there, but also a pretty badass highlight reel -- the rapes, the murders, the IEDs, hour after hour of beheadings. Good times, man. Good times.
Anyhoo, he fast-forwards through the credits and the FBI warning, pulls out the DVD, and turns to me with an empty faceless stare. Dead fucking silence, like he's expecting me to say something. A couple minutes pass, and still Chatty Cathy isn't saying a word. So I'm like, "hey, bitch, you're welcome."
Okay, good, this finally gets the guy off the schneid. He points over to a door on the far side of the room that opens up, zwwwwippitch, just like the old Star Trek noise. It's a good thing too, 'cause my bald balls were turning blue from the thought of that fine ass ho-stack on the other side. Cracka, I got my fat horny Jordanian ass into a full trot across that room and did a dive-roll through that door like vintage Shatner.
When the door close behind me, zwwwwippitch, I guess you could say I was a little surprised, maybe a little disappointed. Turns out paradise is dumpier that you'd expect. A lot dumpier. In fact it's a lot like the Iraq boondocks; sandy, dusty, seemed like 150 degrees in the shade. I always figured paradise would have better climate control, but hey, Allah has the thermostat and He works in mysterious ways. I start looking around, and looking around. No virgins, no figs, no raisins. Now, I'm horny, hungry, and annoyed. Okay, I figure, I guess it's up to Zarkman to cherchez la poontang himself, so I start to walk down this dusty street, and BOOOM!
Get this: some asshole planted an IED right in the middle of goddamn downtown Paradise, and I take my first step right on the cocksucker. As I was flying through the air, I'm going, what the dung? It must have been planted by some Jew or Crusader, but how did one of those bastards slip into paradise in the first place? It was giving me a headache. Then I got another headache when the schoolbus ran over my head.
I was laying there trying to figure it out, when my various limbs and torsos and gonads and such started to reassemble, sort of like that liquid chrome cop in Terminator 2. Pretty cool, but it hurt like a mofo. So SPROING! I'm back on my feet, and start out again and BOOM! And I'm like, another fucking IED? I mean, what are the frigging odds? Then shhhklorrrp, bus over the head, reassemble SPROING. The next couple of hours was a blur of step- BOOM- shhhklorrrp - SPROING, lather-rinse-repeat, and I'm like, dude, fuck this shit. I had only made it 50 yards and wasn't all that horny anymore.
Anyway, I'm standing there trying to figure out my next step, when this badass crew of straightup masked assassins comes around the corner. Talk about a relief, I was beginning to wonder if Allah had made some sort of mistake. And I'm like, "yo, cuz, which way to the virgina?" Then the assholes start eying me up and down, lauging. And then I'm like, "come on, holmes, don't bogart the cooch," and then you know what those douchebags did? Throw a friggin' burqqa over my head and drag me into an abandoned warehouse. I'm goin' finally, some action.
I will spare you the ribald details, but let's just say after that 12 hour train bang I know how Marilyn Chambers felt after Behind the Green Door III. Dude, I can't even fart anymore, I hoot. And I'm so bowlegged they call me Hopalong. But, hey, I'm thinking it was just part of the Paradise Club for Martyrs initiation, because we sometimes did the same thing with AQ recruits. Not gay or anything, just to make sure the new jihadis knew who the boss was.
I pulled up my trou, and they were sitting there smoking cigs, and I'm like, okay homeslices, you had your fun, bring on the bitches. And then you know what the bastards did? Pull out the scimitars and start slicing off my fargin' head. What the flock??? If you've never been beheaded, let me clue you in: it. hurts. like. a. muthafuka. And being the ball in an alley pickup soccer game is no picnic either. Man, I'm telling you, you Omega Q-dogs ain't got shit compared to this initiation ceremony.
Anyway, they just got my head half sewed-back on, and broke for lunch. Right now I'm at some shitty internet cafe. Nothing but AOL dial-up, and for some reason the the only sites I can access are HuffPo and Iowahawk, and nothing but Dixie Chicks on the jukebox. I ordered the raisin & date plate, but I'm pretty sure that ain't dried fruit.
Gotta go soon, I guess I'm scheduled for some more beheadings after lunch. Just between us, I'd have to say that so far Paradise has overrated. Don't get me wrong, Allahu Akbar, blah blah blah. But if this initiation thing doesn't end soon, I'm thinking about filling out a complaint form.
In the meantime, I'm trying to keep thinking positive. It's been a little rough here so far, but at least I haven't noticed a single Marine.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Automobiles. Electricity. Indoor plumbing. Private ownership of property. Steady employment. Food. Americans have selfishly enjoyed such extravagances for decades, and the environment has suffered for it. Now, Mother Nature is beginning to strike back. Powerful hurricanes descend on the tranquil Gulf Coast region every year, so numerous that we have run out of names for them. The glaciers have retreated from Mount Kilauea, backing over scores of poor, inner city Blacks on the way out. Drought sweep across the land, and entire crops of glaucoma medication vanish from my porch overnight. We are facing what could very well be the end of civilization in our lifetime, and the blame belongs to America’s selfish insistence on remaining an industrialized nation.
That’s the “inconvenient truth” that Al Gore tries to awaken us to in his monumental new film. A triumph at Cannes even without any gay sex scenes, An Inconvenient Truth features a colorful ensemble of A-list climatologists and environmental experts, their weighty words and elaborate costumes lending credibility to what would otherwise be blown off as just another bearded lady in the circus sideshow of Al Gore’s mind. However, it is Al Gore himself who steals the show as the reluctant hero who would save humanity from its own greedy excesses, even as he fights his own personal demons. Fitted with a pair of recycled aluminum claws, Gore slashes his way through the veil of right-wing lies and exposes the world to the hard, inconvenient truth they’ve ignored for far too long. Where was this Al Gore during the 2000 presidential debates? Where was he during the entire election? No matter. The same Al Gore whose rugged outdoorsy machismo and pressed flannel shirts won the hearts of butch lesbians everywhere has returned…and with a vengeance.
The inconvenient truth of Gore’s film is also an undeniable one. If we are to save the planet for future generations, we must sacrifice a few of the guilty pleasures we’ve grown so accustomed to over the years - such as eating regularly and crapping indoors. Most importantly, we must end once and for all our unhealthy obsession with the internal combustion engine. It’s high time for we as a society to squeeze our obese behinds out of our gas-guzzling, smog-belching SUVs and learn to use other alternatives, such as those funny things on the ends of our legs. By “we”, Gore of course means “YOU”, for we simply can’t have the once and future President walking around to all his lucrative speaking engagements like a common peasant.
Enlightened nations like China and France have already become signatories to the Kyoto Protocol, but the United States has yet to answer to the UN for the unforgivable sin of prosperity. To prevent an environmental apocalypse, Al Gore inists that we must. But it won’t happen as long as there is a Republican in the White House, waging endless wars and handing out tax cuts to the wealthiest 1% of Americans. Unless we surrender ourselves completely to our benevolent progressive leaders and reject the right-wing's use of fear as a means to control us, civilization as we know it will cease to exist.