Sunday, September 30, 2007

Senate tomfoolery

U.S. Embassy Condemns Iraq Division Plan [link]
The unusual U.S. Embassy statement came just hours after representatives of Iraq's major political parties denounced the U.S. Senate proposal calling for a limited centralized government with the bulk of the power given to the country's Shiite, Sunni or Kurdish regions, saying it would seriously hamper Iraq's future stability.

The Embassy's statement came on the heels of further Senate meddling in foreign policy. The Embassy, as well as Iraqi officials, were reacting to this resolution calling for the partition of Iraq:

(b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that-- (1) the United States should actively support a political settlement among Iraq's major factions based upon the provisions of the Constitution of Iraq that create a federal system of government and allow for the creation of federal regions; (2) the active support referred to in paragraph (1) should include-- (A) calling on the international community, including countries with troops in Iraq, the permanent 5 members of the United Nations Security Council, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and Iraq's neighbors-- (i) to support an Iraqi political settlement based on federalism; (ii) to acknowledge the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq; and (iii) to fulfill commitments for the urgent delivery of significant assistance and debt relief to Iraq, especially those made by the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council; (B) further calling on Iraq's neighbors to pledge not to intervene in or destabilize Iraq and to agree to related verification mechanisms; and (C) convening a conference for Iraqis to reach an agreement on a comprehensive political settlement based on the creation of federal regions within a united Iraq; (3) the United States should urge the Government of Iraq to quickly agree upon and implement a law providing for the equitable distribution of oil revenues, which is a critical component of a comprehensive political settlement based upon federalism; and (4) the steps described in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) could lead to an Iraq that is stable, not a haven for terrorists, and not a threat to its neighbors.

It seems to me Congress has better things to do (e.g., pass a national budget) than continuing to waste time trying to undercut the President on Iraq.

Trackposted to Nuke's, Rosemary's Thoughts, Cao's Blog, Big Dog's Weblog, and The World According to Carl, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe and OTA Weekend.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Senators approving of

Last Wednesday, September 19, in response to the ad attacking the character of Gen. Petraeus, the Senate voted on an amendment to the fiscal 2008 Defense appropriations bill:

Cornyn Amdt. No. 2934; To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.

The amendment passed with 72 yeas and 25 nays. Those voting nay include all the usual suspects:

Akaka (D-HI) Bingaman (D-NM) Boxer (D-CA) Brown (D-OH) Byrd (D-WV) Clinton (D-NY) Dodd (D-CT) Durbin (D-IL) Feingold (D-WI) Harkin (D-IA) Inouye (D-HI) Kennedy (D-MA) Kerry (D-MA) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Levin (D-MI) Menendez (D-NJ) Murray (D-WA) Reed (D-RI) Reid (D-NV) Rockefeller (D-WV) Sanders (I-VT) Schumer (D-NY) Stabenow (D-MI) Whitehouse (D-RI) Wyden (D-OR)

These Senators, by refusing to stand up and do the right thing, give tacit approval to and their tactics. Why?

Tag: Trackposted to Faultline USA, third world county, The Random Yak, The World According to Carl, Pirate's Cove, Blue Star Chronicles, Stuck On Stupid, High Desert Wanderer, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

More A.P. liberal spin?

Rising Tensions As Rice, Al-Maliki Meet [link]

The U.N. has convened a meeting on Iraq. And, there is the issue of the role private security forces in Iraq and the standards they should recognize. But, the AP chose to attach the headline to al Maliki's attendance at a U.N. meeting at which no mention of tensions between Rice and Maliki ocurred:

“The meeting was very positive,” said Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki. Participants, he said, underlined the progress accomplished by Iraq and offered their support. [link]

So, where is the rising of tensions?

I suspect it is only in the lurid imagination of MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer, and his editor.

Trackposted to CommonSenseAmerica, Big Dog's Weblog, and Nuke's News & Views, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe plus OTA Weekend and Rosemary's Thoughts.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

News from the Front

Good news coming from Iraq:

KUT, Iraq - American commanders in southern Iraq say Shiite sheiks are showing interest in joining forces with the U.S. military against extremists, in much the same way that Sunni clansmen in the western part of the country have worked with American forces against al-Qaida. [link]

The report was confirmed by Sheik Majid Tahir al-Magsousi, a Shia leader. Taking note of the assassination of the Sunni leader, Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, the sheik said

"The death of Sheik Abu Risha will not thwart us," he said. "What matters to us is Iraq and its safety."

This is good news. It demonstrates that there is indeed a grassroots move to counter the extremists of both stripes.

Good news for everyone except for those members of Congress—you know their names—that have a vested interest in our failure.

Trackposted to The Amboy Times, Rosemary's Thoughts, Big Dog's Weblog, and Jo's Cafe, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe Plus Woman Honor Thyself and OTA Weekend.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Associated Press: A disservice

This is a small example of a larger problem with the AP: In reporting on a statement released by Paris-based ESA on the shrinkage of the polar icecap, the AP includes the following statement:

Many experts believe that global warming is to blame for melting the passage.

I can't think of any good reason why blame needed to be assigned here. Wouldn't is the cause of be more appropriate?

Here is the problem: By including colored words—blame, fault, slams, rips—in their reporting, the AP is slanting straightforward reporting towards editorializing. The process is more subtle than blatant, but the effect on the reader may be more certain; blatant editorializing being more easily recognized and evaluated.

Look at AP reports and one can see the AP has this technique polished to a high sheen. That is why I say the AP is a news disservice.

Tag: Trackposted to Blue Star Chronicles, Rosemary's Thoughts, 123beta, and Nuke's News & Views, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe plus Woman Honor Thyself and OTA Weekend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Iraq's complexity too much for Shepard Smith

On listening to Shepard Smith on Fox' Studio B, I am struck by how he wants to frame the current discussion on Iraq in stark contrasts.

Twice, on opening an interview with a Senator, he prefaced the questions with: "Can we start by assuming we are on the side of the Sunnis and Iran is on the side of the Shias?" Of course, his interviewees had a much firmer grasp of the complexities of Iraq and the worldwide terrorism in general to go along with the suggestion.

Somehow, that seems to me to be perfectly on character for Shepard. I am a fan of Fox News, but his show seems louder and tends to be more sensational than the rest of Fox' lineup. As a result, nuanced subject matter simply doesn't fit well within his format. And, perhaps, not within his mindset.

Tag: Trackposted to Pirate's Cove, Right Truth, Conservative Thoughts, and Pursuing Holiness, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe and OTA Tuesday.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Iraq vis-à-vis Vietnam

It has been said that the Iraq war parallels the Vietnam war; both having been referred to as a "quagmire."

I have agreed that valid comparisons exist, but not as the war critics might suspect.

The problem with the comparisons as they have been applied is this: The emphasis has been on the situation on the ground in the theatre of operations. Equally important but almost completely ignored is the state of affairs existing concomitantly at home.

Vietnam was a difficult war both militarily and politically. Almost from the outset, Congress was at odds with the Executive over conduct of the war. In the few years centered on about 1969, Congress applied increasing pressure to end the war. At the same time, mass demonstrations against the war were being held in the streets.

Today, Congress is acting in an almost identical way they did then. A key difference is there now are no mass antiwar demonstrations; the only evidence of antiwar sentiment in the public coming from polls. The problem with polls, however, is this: If you ask a person for his opinion, he will give it to you. But, this does not necessarily indicate that same person feels strongly about the subject.

Someone said, "Warfare today will be less about bullets and bombs, and more about strength of will to prevail." That is, the will of the people as a Nation as expressed through the actions of their elected representatives is at least as important as military means.

That is where we are at with Iraq. Our adversary pays as much attention to what we say as what we do. bin Laden has already noted our quick withdrawl from Somalia as evidence this Nation does not have the strength of will necessary to prevail. Indeed, al Qaeda fighters at the time were astonished at how easy their victory came.

So, this Democratic Congress with their pusillanimous behavior can only make matters more difficult in Iraq. And, even worse, if this Democratic Congress should manage to achieve a rapid withdrawl from Iraq, as they did in Vietnam, we will face a much emboldened al Qaeda world wide. And, the Democrat's will be held accountable.

Tag:   Trackposted to Pirate's Cove, Republican National Convention Blog, High Desert Wanderer, and Big Dog's Weblog, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe OTA Monday.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Durbin: J'Accuse

Dick Durbin says Iraq report bogus, falsified [link]

According to Durbin

General David Petraeus is expected to testify before Congress on the rosy progress of the troop "surge" in Iraq on Tuesday despite the overwhelming evidence that the "surge" has been a failure and the civil war in Iraq is out of control.

Durbin also maintains he has email correspondence with civilian employees gathering data for Petraeus' report that

…when they sent a discouraging report about things that were happening in Baghdad, they were reminded by their superiors that's unacceptable; we need a positive report. They were sent back for editing changes. Now that's a fact," Durbin said.

So, in effect, Dick Durbin is accusing Gen. Petraeus of being dishonest; a deliberate deceiver.

Pretty strong stuff, Dick. You better have your facts straight.

Trackposted to Blue Star Chronicles, Rosemary's Thoughts, The Amboy Times, 123beta, and Jo's Cafe, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe and OTA Weekend.

Friday, September 07, 2007

These officials have not a clue

Commenting on bin Laden's latest video:

Bin Laden's attacks in the video on capitalism, multinational corporations and globalization led misled several current and former government officials to believe an American _ 28-year-old Adam Gadahn _ may have written at least part of the speech.

The edits are mine.

Why do these officials still have job? Anyone in their position should have known that takfiris like bin Laden have long melded Marxist ideology into their 'special' interpretation of the koran.

The other question is: Why do these people have the ear of the reporters and publishers? Is it because the shameless MSM will go to any lengths to undermine the current Administration; never mind the same undermines the Nation?


Trackposted to Blue Star Chronicles, Stuck On Stupid, The Random Yak, Woman Honor Thyself, 123beta, and Right Truth, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe and OTA Weekend.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

No students of history, they

Study: U.S. Should Lower Profile in Iraq [link]

These guys definitely are not students of history. Impervious to news of recent advances in Iraq, they are making this proposal:

WASHINGTON - A panel of retired senior military and police officers recommended Thursday that the United States lighten its footprint in Iraq to counter the image that it's an "occupying force."

Basically, they are saying, let us return to the proven failure of yesterday.

"The force footprint should be adjusted in our view to represent an expeditionary capability and to combat a permanent-force image of today's presence," said retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, who led the 20-member commission.

There's that image thing again. What is this about "image?" Where is this guy coming from?

This will make an eventual departure much easier," Jones told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

So, there you have it. Another former military officer, oblivious to advances in Iraq, trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by advocating a cut and run policy.

Is advice like this helpful? I think not.

Tag: Trackposted to Blue Star Chronicles, Pirate's Cove, The Amboy Times, Right Truth, Big Dog's Weblog, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe and OTA Thursday.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Let 'em talk

Bush Supports APEC Climate Change Pact [link]
SYDNEY, Australia - President Bush urged Pacific Rim nations Wednesday to band together on tackling global warming, saying all major polluters must be part of any solution. But finding consensus among Asian leaders at their annual summit has proven elusive.

Tackling global warming in and of itself could mean anything from the goal of adapting to the goal expressed by the Aussie foreign minister:

Developing nations need to move beyond their view that stopping global warming should chiefly fall to wealthier countries and realize that the problem is a common challenge, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said.

In the absence of any unimpeachable scientific evidence that the current warming is stoppable or is even unusual, governments mandating measures towards the unachievable or the unnecessary should be cause for concern.

So, talking is fine. If an energy conservation strategy should come out of it, fine. But, I'd be worried if they tried to do something rash like trying to "stop global warming."

Trackposted to CommonSenseAmerica, DeMediacratic Nation, Big Dog's Weblog, and Conservative Thoughts, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe and OTA Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The morality of some 'Hollywood' types

Goldberg Defends Vick in 'View' Debut [link]
[Whoopi] Goldberg said that "from where he [Vick] comes from" in the South, dogfighting isn't that unusual.
"It's like cockfighting in Puerto Rico," she said. "There are certain things that are indicative to certain parts of the country."

Speaks volumes about the 'Hollywood' ethic.

We may not be able to do much about cockfighting in Puerto Rico or bullfighting in Spain, but we sure can do something about the likes of Vick.

Goldberg, you don't speak for me!

Trackposted to Blue Star Chronicles, Rosemary's Thoughts, Big Dog's Weblog, and Conservative Thoughts, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe and OTA Tuesday.