Saturday, June 30, 2007

More Liberal Press Spin

The anti-American Liberal Press never ceases to put a negative spin on Iraq news. Note the AP headline: U.S. Raids Baghdad Slum; 26 Iraqis Die

The dead are "Iraqis" not "insurgents" or "Mahdi Army fighters" or, even, "opportunists taking pot shots." And, look how they spin the account of the fight:

The U.S. military said it conducted two pre-dawn raids in Sadr City, killing 26 "terrorists" who attacked U.S. troops with small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs. But Iraqi officials said all the dead were civilians.

Note the skepticism indicated by the quote marks for the Military account but none for the Iraqi account. As if we must mistrust what the Military reports but we can accept the word of any Iraqi on the street at face value.

Maliki was all upset over the operation in Sadr City.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned the raids and demanded an explanation for the assault into a district where he has barred U.S. operations in the past.
"The Iraqi government totally rejects U.S. military operations ... conducted without a pre-approval from the Iraqi military command," al-Maliki said in a statement released by his office. "Anyone who breaches the military command orders will face investigation."

Yeah, right. Why is it the terrorists always have advance knowledge of our operations? al-Maliki should be told in no uncertain terms that pre-approvals are not possible until he weeds out the insurgent sympathizers in his government.

Tag: Trackposted to Blue Star Chronicles, Cao's Blog, The Amboy Times, 123beta, Dumb Ox Daily News, Pursuing Holiness, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe, and OTA Weekend.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lugar entering his dotage?

Or, was he always a self-serving politician.

The President and his team must come to grips with the shortened political timeline in this country for military operations in Iraq. Some will argue that political timelines should always be subordinated to military necessity, but that is unrealistic in a democracy. Many political observers contend that voter dissatisfaction in 2006 with Administration policies in Iraq was the major factor in producing new Democratic Party majorities in both Houses of Congress. Domestic politics routinely intrude on diplomatic and military decisions. The key is to manage these intrusions so that we avoid actions that are not in our national interest. [link]

Translation: "To hell with the Iraqis. Some of us have reelection campaigns going here."

Tag: Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Big Dog's Weblog, Right Truth, Maggie's Notebook, Blue Star Chronicles, Pirate's Cove, Webloggin, The Amboy Times, Leaning Straight Up, and Pursuing Holiness, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Site recommendation

If you enjoy classical music, you will enjoy pretérito mais-que-perfeito (yes, it is Portuguese). The site features program excerpts from Rádio Cova da Beira. The commentary is all in Portuguese but the recordings are first rate.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Who let Jimmy out?

Carter Blasts US Policy on Palestinians

Jimmy apparently has wandered away from the home again. He's out in Ireland spouting the same tired line he has used his whole career:

Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was addressing a human rights conference in Ireland, also said the Bush administration's refusal to accept Hamas' 2006 election victory was "criminal."
Carter said Hamas, besides winning a fair and democratic mandate that should have entitled it to lead the Palestinian government, had proven itself to be far more organized in its political and military showdowns with Abbas' moderate Fatah movement.

Ol' Jimmy has a long track record, beginning with Mugabe and recently with Chavez, of embracing despots and their election "victories." Now, he embraces Hamas. It's no suprise their proclivity for bullets over ballots doesn't faze him. After all, they "won" the election, didn't they?

Tag: Trackposted to Blue Star Chronicles, Webloggin, Cao's Blog, The Amboy Times, third world county, and Right Truth, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe and Maggies Notebook, and OTA Wednesday.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rogue prosecutor

Disbarred Duke Prosecutor's Future Dim

The N.C. prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse case, Nifong, has been disbarred for malfeasance in office.

The falsely accused players and their families, having racked up millions of dollars in legal bills, appear likely to file civil lawsuits against the disbarred prosecutor. Their attorneys want a judge to consider holding Nifong in criminal contempt for lying to the court.

And the lacrosse team's attorney almost sounds apologetic:

"Some people will take that as being mean-spirited and kicking somebody when they're down," defense attorney Joseph Cheshire said Sunday. "But we believe that this issue is enormously important and it carries significant precedent and (the judge) ought to be the one to make that decision because it happened in his court."

You bet it's enormously important. I've seen too many rogue prosecutors to let this slide.

Kicking someone who's down? Don't even think about it because Nifong didn't worry about dragging the reputations of these three kids through the mud.


Friday, June 15, 2007

New Philistia

Hamas Gives Amnesty, Killings Persist

Hamas has completely taken over the Gaza strip.

Hamas offered amnesty to its defeated foes as violence tapered off from five days of bloodshed that claimed more than 90 lives.

With the takeover of Gaza, Fatah leader Abbas has moved his government to the West Bank.

Safe in the West Bank, Abbas moved quickly to cement his rule there after losing control of Gaza to Hamas forces. He replaced Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas member, with Finance Minister Salam Fayyad, a respected economist, to head a new moderate government

In their arrogance, Hamas does not realize what is happening to them.

Hamas…denounced Abbas' move as a coup. Hamas' supreme leader, Syrian-based Khaled Mashaal, later said Abbas has legitimacy as an elected president and promised to cooperate…

Hamas, by their actions, have shown the World their promises are worthless. Little do they realize the lack of support they will be receiving from the region.

Abbas received immediate pledges of support from Israel, the U.S., Egypt, Jordan, the U.N. and Saudi Arabia.

Gaza should be renamed New Philistia and sealed off.


Of drugs and guns

Mexico AG Calls U.S. Policy 'Cynical'
MEXICO CITY - Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina called U.S. policies on drugs and firearms "cynical" and "absurd," some of the toughest language used by Mexican officials prodding Washington to cut U.S. drug demand and stem the flow of guns they say fuel violence here.

I don't think cynical is quite the right word, but the border security initiative proposed by the President—including building a wall—should go a long way towards stemming the flow of both guns and drugs across the border.

As for the demand side: I agree. Unfortunately, I do not believe there is much enthusiasm for that on this side. Every time I have mentioned attacking the demand side of the drug problem, I have been criticized for 'making criminals of innocent people.' After all, my critics say, it is a 'victimless crime.'

Of course, I don't agree with my critics. But, I believe their attitude is pervasive and will result in no effective action taken to reduce demand.

Tag: Trackposted to Rightlinx, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, stikNstein... has no mercy, Maggie's Notebook, Pirate's Cove, Blue Star Chronicles, Cao's Blog, Dumb Ox Daily News, Jo's Cafe, and Pursuing Holiness, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe, and OTA Weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Peace in the Middle East?

Hamas Overruns Rival Fatah's Key Posts
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Hamas fighters overran two of the rival Fatah movement's most important security command centers in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, and witnesses said the victors dragged vanquished gunmen into the street and shot them to death execution-style.

Do you think the U.N. will open a war crimes investigation? I'm not holding my breath.

It looks like Hamas is using the gun to accomplish what they couldn't (or, wouldn't) do in Parliament. Once Abbas is dealt with, Hamas will turn its attention to Israel.

I think this marks a decisive end to the peace process. Israel would be within its right to make no more territory concessions. And, to continue building the wall.

All this may give the Europeans heartburn. But, if it does, they can be the first to step in and restore order. Again, I'm not holding my breath...

Tag: Trackposted to Pirate's Cove, Webloggin, stikNstein... has no mercy, Right Truth, and Pursuing Holiness, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

About the Laura Ingraham show

Caught the radio show for the first time. Couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was a lot of cheap shots like you would read on the Daily Kos only from the other side.

Is this representative of the Republican base?

Not for me.

Laura, if you want to be a conservative spokesman, cut the crap and do a little responsible analysis.


Counter the Iranian menace

Friday, June 08, 2007

Need a laugh?

Read this: Is this not what you expected to see?: Airplane humor#links Tag:

Bull roar from CoE investigator

Investigator: CIA Ran Secret Prisons

So, the Council of Europe tasked a Swiss Senator, Dick Marty, to investigate alleged secret prisons allegedly run by the CIA allegedly in Poland and Romania. Here is what Marty is saying:

"While it is likely that very few people in the countries concerned, including in the governments themselves, knew of the existence of the centers, we have sufficient grounds to declare that the highest state authorities were aware of the CIA's illegal activities on their territories," it [Marty's report] said.
"The secret detention facilities in Europe were run directly and exclusively by the CIA," it said.

That's nice. What is the basis for these charges?

Marty did not identify his sources, saying they were people "who had worked or still worked for the relevant authorities, in particular intelligence agencies."

Oh, well then, where were the prisons located?

The report did not name or locate the prisons where the abuses allegedly occured. It said testimony came from former or current detainees, human rights advocates, or people who worked in setting up or operating CIA secret prisons.

Well, Herr Marty, it seems to me you are asking the CoE and the rest of the world to take you at your word. Nice try but that just doesn't wash. May I suggest you return to Switzerland and mind your Senate business.

Trackposted to Woman Honor Thyself, guerrilla radio, stikNstein... has no mercy, Maggie's Notebook, Pirate's Cove, Blue Star Chronicles, The Amboy Times, and Pursuing Holiness, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe and OTA Weekend.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Now, about those Z visas...

Feds to Suspend Border Passport Rule
The suspension in the rules is aimed at clearing a massive backlog of passport applications at the State Department that has slowed processing to a crawl, they said. Some officials said the change would last several months; others said as long as six months.

As I was saying below about sufficient resources....

Trackposted to Pirate's Cove, Webloggin, The Virtuous Republic, Dumb Ox Daily News, stikNstein... has no mercy, and Pursuing Holiness, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe and OTA Week.

Immigration Reform

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R, TX) said the immigration reform bill currently before the Senate is not ready for cloture. [1] The Senator is correct given some of the essential features that are being added to the draft bill through ammendment. Two examples:

The bill must allow for weeding out antisocial types from obtaining a Z visa:

Still, several changes proposed by conservatives prevailed, including one by Cornyn that would make it easier to locate and deport illegal immigrants whose visa applications are rejected.
The bill would have barred law enforcement agencies from seeing applications for so-called Z visas that allow illegal immigrants to gain legal status. Cornyn said authorities should know if applicants have criminal records that would warrant their deportation. [2]

Opponents claim this provision will discourage applications. This, of course, is not a reasonable objection because the only people that would not come forward would be those with something to hide and they should be deported anyway.

The bill must allow for shutting off illegal immigration across our border:

Congress could block the legalization of millions of unlawful immigrants if it deemed the border too porous under a Republican proposal also slated for a vote on Thursday. [2]

Also an essential provision. Why? Because there is the nagging doubt about whether the Executive will apply the resources necessary to effectively close our borders. Without this step, we will never gain control over immigration. So, there must be a mechanism for pulling the plug and not allowing the legalization process to go forward.

The concern over resources also extends to the Z visa program. Already long lines are forming at U.S. postal facilities as citizens apply for passports. [3] What will happen when an estimated 10 to 20 million immigrants also show up to apply for visas?

Trackposted to Pirate's Cove, Webloggin, The Virtuous Republic, and stikNstein... has no mercy, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe and OTA Week.