Category Archives: Blog

Criticism for the Critics

Bush takes on critics of Iraq war
Friday, November 11, 2005; Posted: 2:40 p.m. EST (19:40 GMT)

President Bush Friday accused critics of the Iraq war of distorting the events that led to the U.S. invasion, saying Democrats viewed the same intelligence and came to similar conclusions.

“While it’s perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began,” the president said.

“Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war,” Bush said. “They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein.”

“These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America’s will,” Bush said.

Many anti-war critics are so blinded by inexhaustible hatred, so enraged by their impotency, so determined to seize power at any cost, that they care not what damage they do. They tolerate the intolerance of Islam and condemn the influence of Christianity. They excuse our attackers and betray our defenders. They see the world through a prism of fear. They are irrational. They cannot be persuaded by logic. Unfortunately these irrational critics are not a fringe minority. Among them are senior leaders of the second most powerful US political party:

Who Is Lying About Iraq?
Norman Podhoretz

Nancy Pelosi, the future leader of the Democrats in the House, and then a member of the House Intelligence Committee, added her voice to the chorus:

Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons-of-mass-destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.

Senator Carl Levin also reaffirmed for Bush’s benefit what he had told Clinton some years earlier:

Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations, and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, agreed as well:

There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. . . . We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.

Perhaps most startling of all, given the rhetoric that they would later employ against Bush after the invasion of Iraq, are statements made by Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, also in 2002:

Kennedy: We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.

Byrd: The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical- and biological-warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons.

Even now these fevered American quislings stubbornly ignore the facts and busy themselves rewriting history…

The President Should Be Held Accountable
By Senator Ted Kennedy
t r u t h o u t | Statement
Thursday 10 November 2005

150,000 American troops are bogged down in a quagmire in Iraq because the Bush Administration misrepresented and distorted the intelligence to justify a war that America never should have fought.

As we know all too well, Iraq was not an imminent threat. It had no nuclear weapons. It had no persuasive links to al Qaeda, no connection to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, and no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

But the President wrongly and repeatedly insisted that it was too dangerous to ignore the weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein, and his ties to al Qaeda.

In his march to war, President Bush exaggerated the threat to the American people. It was not subtle. It was not nuanced. It was pure, unadulterated fear-mongering, based on a devious strategy to convince the American people that Saddam’s ability to provide nuclear weapons to al Qaeda justified immediate war.

Kicking Ass, Burning Cars

And they’re just about out of cars.

Arabs Blame French Society, Discrimination
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 9, 2005; 2:07 PM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — France’s riots have set off a round of troubled debate across the Arab world: Most here blame a failure to offer opportunity to immigrants, but others see a more ominous clash of cultures over Islam.

Across the Middle East, the images of burning cars and stone-throwing young people have dominated newspapers and television. Analysts have hotly debated the riots’ meaning, their cause and whether they might spread.

Wow. They’re actually seeing video from France? I’m wondering if Brian Williams and Anderson Cooper are on vacation. Maybe they’re still on assignment in New Orleans.

Great story. It absolves the criminals and blames the victims, and somehow squeezes in some Muslim paranoia and self-pity, even though of course this all has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.

Here’s a good rebuttal:

Troubling “Facts” of the Paris Riots
How our newspapers might turn bias to balance.
by Bruce Thornton
Private Papers
November 6, 2005

In the case of the Paris rioters, there are other explanations for their behavior that are more accurate than liberal clichés about “frustration.” As Dr Jack Wheeler puts it, “The problem is not that these Moslem kids are unemployed, but that they are unemployable. They are illiterate, unskilled except in crime, don’t speak French well, refuse to assimilate into French culture and think being Moslem is more important than being French. Worse, they are paid by the French welfare state not to work, living well off the dole (and crime). The problem was epitomized by these words of a young Moslem rioter to a French reporter: ‘In the day we sleep, go see our girlfriends, and play video games. And in the evening we have a good time: we go and fight the police.’”


Merde Storm

Hard to believe this disturbing analysis was written three years ago, the situation in the cités has only gotten worse:

The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris
Theodore Dalrymple
Autumn 2002

They are certainly not poor, at least by the standards of all previously existing societies: they are not hungry; they have cell phones, cars, and many other appurtenances of modernity; they are dressed fashionably—according to their own fashion—with a uniform disdain of bourgeois propriety and with gold chains round their necks. They believe they have rights, and they know they will receive medical treatment, however they behave. They enjoy a far higher standard of living (or consumption) than they would in the countries of their parents’ or grandparents’ origin, even if they labored there 14 hours a day to the maximum of their capacity.

But this is not a cause of gratitude—on the contrary: they feel it as an insult or a wound, even as they take it for granted as their due. But like all human beings, they want the respect and approval of others, even—or rather especially—of the people who carelessly toss them the crumbs of Western prosperity. Emasculating dependence is never a happy state, and no dependence is more absolute, more total, than that of most of the inhabitants of the cités. They therefore come to believe in the malevolence of those who maintain them in their limbo: and they want to keep alive the belief in this perfect malevolence, for it gives meaning—the only possible meaning—to their stunted lives. It is better to be opposed by an enemy than to be adrift in meaninglessness, for the simulacrum of an enemy lends purpose to actions whose nihilism would otherwise be self-evident.

The Belmont Club makes an excellent observation on the significance of the carbeque brinksmanship of the “youths”:

Do You Hear the People Sing?

Using expensive rotary wing assets to chase car arsonists isn’t an economical proposition, especially when you can’t fire on the arsonists. The ability to torch cars in the Place de la Republique is a good gauge of the limits of police response time. All in all, the tactic of car burning provides definite advantages to the attacker and many disadvantages for the defender. The tactics of the “youths” may have evolved spontaneously, and probably did. Nevertheless, because form follows function, they bear an eerie resemblance to tactics employed by the Chechens against the Russian Army in Grozny, and may have been fertilized by ideas from that source.

What’s happening in France is more serious than the LA riot or Katrina looting. It’s lasted longer and is more widespread. The LA mayhem wasn’t organized, and the government had the good sense to put it down with curfews and the National Guard before it spread to other cities. The Katrina looting, triggered by a natural disaster, is hardly comparable except for the curious lack of similar hyperbolic reportage. Did the media learn a lesson, or are they just casting around for an angle that doesn’t discredit their beloved moral relativism and multiculturalism?

Intifada in France
New York Sun Editorial
November 4, 2005

Back in the 1990s, the French sneered at America for the Los Angeles riots. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported in 1992: “the consensus of French pundits is that something on the scale of the Los Angeles riots could not happen here, mainly because France is a more humane, less racist place with a much stronger commitment to social welfare programs.” President Mitterrand, the Washington Post reported in 1992, blamed the riots on the “conservative society” that Presidents Reagan and Bush had created and said France is different because it “is the country where the level of social protection is the highest in the world.”

It sure smells like an “intifada”, it’s definitely more than a “riot”. Will the French not impose a curfew and mobilize their army simply because that’s what the cowboy Americans would do? Or are they afraid they wouldn’t win if it came to that? Do they remember what happened when they dithered in 1940?

Wake up, Europe, you’ve a war on your hands
November 6, 2005

The notion that Texas neocon arrogance was responsible for frosting up trans-Atlantic relations was always preposterous, even for someone as complacent and blinkered as John Kerry. If you had millions of seething unassimilated Muslim youths in lawless suburbs ringing every major city, would you be so eager to send your troops into an Arab country fighting alongside the Americans? For half a decade, French Arabs have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They seem to have lost that battle. Unlike America’s Europhiles, France’s Arab street correctly identified Chirac’s opposition to the Iraq war for what it was: a sign of weakness.

You might think this would also help dispell the belief that neocon arrogance caused 9/11, but the people who believe that are too busy dissecting Plame minutiae and lionizing their heroic marxist agitators in Argentina to notice anything that contradicts their worldview.

TV coverage has been thin. After two weeks don’t French city streets in flames rate some air time? Compare it for instance to the coverage of the LA riot or Katrina. What happened to “if it bleeds it leads”? We beat ourselves and our government up pretty badly over Katrina. They say Europe is more enlightened, France enjoys more solidarity. Wouldn’t it be instructive to examine their problems and compare them to ours? Wouldn’t it be fair to critique their government’s response to crisis?

Thankfully blogs have been a vibrant source of information, analysis, and opinion.
The better ones on this subject are The Belmont Club, ¡No Pasaràn!, Gates of Vienna, cuanas, and The Brussels Journal. The mainstream media is guilty not only of dragging their feet on the story, the links above reveal they’ve been neglecting for some time to report honestly on the problems of socialist Europe. They consistenty portray it as utopia compared to the US. From the 25% unemployment rate to the ticking time bomb of ingrateful, unassimilated, and surly Muslims I’m damn glad I don’t live in France.


1001 Eurabian Nights

After looking down their noses with disdain and disgust at the US – most recently for going to war against Iraq and for the looting and lawlessness in the wake of Katrina – what the French are now experiencing should cause them to reevaluate both criticisms. First, their general support for Muslim causes around the world and for Saddam and the Palestinians in particular has earned them no sympathy whatsoever from the disaffected 2nd generation North African Muslim “youths” they have adopted. Second, the line between civilization and chaos is thin everywhere, not just here in Cowboyland. If Katrina unmasked ugly class differences and government ineptitude then so have these French riots.

I don’t feel smug. I hope this wakes up the French, and the rest of Old Europe, so they finally join in the defense of civilization rather than pretentiously prevaricating while it collapses around them.

Ramadan Rioting in Europe’s No-Go Areas

Our mainstream media, in attempts to preserve the Left’s chimera of “universal cultural compatibility,” hardly write about all this. Nevertheless, for some years now West European city folk and police officers have been familiar with the reality that certain areas of major European cities are no-go areas, especially at night and certainly if you are white or wearing a uniform. Three years ago, a French friend who had his car stolen learned that the thieves had parked the car in a particular suburb. When he went to the police he was told that the police did not operate in that neighbourhood and consequently would not be able to retrieve his car. This is Western Europe in the early 21st century.

Nicolas Sarkozy became France’s most popular politician by promising to restore law and order in the whole of France, including in the areas abandoned by previous governments. Since Sarkozy became Interior Minister he has insisted on more police presence in Muslim neighbourhoods. This triggered last week’s riots in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, when policemen went in to investigate a robbery and two teenagers stupidly got themselves electrocuted while hiding from the police in an electricity sub station. Many French politicians now probably regret that the police had the audacity to investigate a robbery in Clichy.

. . .

The riots in France have been going on for a week now. During the second night of street fighting in Clichy, police officers already warned that they are not up to the task Sarkozy has set them. “There’s a civil war underway,” one officer declared. “We can no longer withstand this situation on our own. My colleagues neither have the equipment nor the practical or theoretical training for street fighting.” If there is, indeed, a war going on, Sarkozy cannot win it with troops that are mere policemen and fire fighters. As Irwin Stelzer pointed out last July when discussing the British reaction to the London bombings: In a war, use the army, rather than police. The latter, however, is unlikely to happen. If the politicians bring in the army they are acknowledging what the policemen, the fire fighters and the ambulance drivers know but what the political and media establishment wants to hide from the people: that there is civil war brewing and that Europe is in for a long period of armed conflict. This is the last thing appeasing politicians want to do and so they have begun to criticise Sarkozy.

This story is a few days old. The violence has gone on for 10 nights now. All along Brussels Journal has made insightful posts on the subject, identifying the situation as a civil war days before the US press acknowledged anything was even happening. The spin from the mainstream media right now is that the rioters are primarily “youths” of North African descent enraged by the deplorable living conditions the famously stingy French social welfare system forces them to live in. The rioting continues only because a fascist cowboy (Sarkozy) was insufficiently diplomatic in handling the situation. The fact the rioters are Muslim and a millet system of whitey no-go zones has emerged in Europe would just confuse us. Chirac is lying low, maybe vacationing in Crawford. They’ve pushed the facist cowboy aside and “negotiations” have begun. It will be interesting to see how they explain the inevitable failure of this new strategy, which is just a desperate return to the old strategy of appeasement that was in place before Sarkozy’s attempt to reclaim the millet ghettos.

All the Treason That’s Fit to Print

As I said leftists are all up in arms about the outing of a single CIA desk jockey, but they celebrate when whole CIA projects are outed:
HUGE: Secret CIA prison in Europe!!!!

WaPo goes on, great story, but refused to ID the Eastern European country in this article after a request from Bush administration officials.

What would YOU do? I am a journalist. I would name the country. I am NOT in the business of keeping the dirty secrets of the Bush administration’s dirty war.

So I have a beef with WaPo on their call on that one.

Translation from traitorese: “I would have betrayed my country even more quickly and deeply.” Their WaPo link appears broken, here’s one that works for now:
Report: CIA Has Secret al-Qaida Prison

The hidden global internment network is a central element in the CIA’s unconventional war on terrorism, the Post said. It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the CIA’s covert actions.

“We prove our patriotism by disclosing our country’s covert activities to the world.” a WaPo spokesman was quoted as saying.

Joe Wilson, Your 15 Minutes Are Up

Compare, contrast, vomit.

Our 27 months of hell
By Joseph C. Wilson IV
October 29, 2005

The attacks on Valerie and me were upsetting, disruptive and vicious. They amounted to character assassination. Senior administration officials used the power of the White House to make our lives hell for the last 27 months.

. . .

It was payback — cheap political payback by the administration for an article I had written contradicting an assertion President Bush made in his 2003 State of the Union address. Payback not just to punish me but to intimidate other critics as well.

Who Exposed Secret Agent Plame?
Clifford D. May
July 15, 2005

The first reference to Plame being a secret agent appears in The Nation, in an article by David Corn published July 16, 2003, just two days after Novak’s column appeared. It carried this lead: “Did Bush officials blow the cover of a U.S. intelligence officer working covertly in a field of vital importance to national security — and break the law — in order to strike at a Bush administration critic and intimidate others?”

Since Novak did not report that Plame was “working covertly” how did Corn know that’s what she had been doing?

Apparently this is more a case of “character suicide” than “character assasination”. Valerie Plame’s exposure has more to do with Joe Wilson not being able to control his petty partisan urges and love of the limelight than anything else. And if you want to get really cynical, based on how quickly David Corn sprang forth with his premature accusation it’s easy to believe Wilson orchestrated or at least desired the exposure, whether to satisfy a martyr complex or in a premeditated attempt to cause problems for the Bush administration. Wilson hasn’t been “attacked”. His pain has been caused by his own lies and his wife’s nepotism coming to light. How is that “payback”? He should be grateful. What’s happened to him is nothing at all like the kind of inane ad hominem attacks the left often uses against their opponents.

And for a guy who spent some time in Africa you’d expect Joe to have some perspective on what “hell” is really like. Unless of course he spent all his time over there on a plantation sipping tea on a chaise lounge.

Left Turn Only

The Left is desperate. They can’t get what they want democratically so they resort to “any means necessary”. They denounce their opponents as extremists while they themselves stoop to unprecedented lows of decency and decorum. Now that they are out of power all the tools and methods of power are revealed as corrupt. LBJ is cussing up a storm somewhere.

We had a referendum on the Iraq war last November. In spite of the best propaganda efforts of the mainstream media the Global Test candidate and his Quisling Party lost. But the MoveOn’ers just can’t seem to move on. The t r u t h o u t crowd only wants their version of the truth out. The same people who got indignant about Clinton being hounded by a Vast Rightwing Conspiracy see nothing wrong with advancing their Iraq War agenda via special prosecutor proxy. “Please oh please I hope THIS will sink Bush”.

The party whose very name invokes democracy increasingly relies on their control of the judiciary to override the will of the people. Their foreign policy drumbeat of defeat and retreat, which threatened for a while to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, has become absurdly disconnected from reality. They criticized the first vote in Iraq because the Sunnis sat out, the second because it wasn’t unanimous. They celebrate “grim milestones” and convict political opponents in their own private kangaroo court, the press.

They love Joe Wilson regardless of his lies. They hate Bush therefore he lies. The outing of an obscure CIA bureacrat drives them insane with righteous patriotic rage, meanwhile they deliberately damage far more important assets in far more significant ways. The president is a “loser”. Gitmo is a “Gulag”. Iraq is a “quagmire”. In addition to having no sense of decency or fairness they have no sense of perspective or proportion. They see racism, corruption, and religious fanaticism everywhere. Everywhere except where it really exists.


Another compare and contrast exercise.

Dan Simpson: Invade Syria? Insane
U.S. forces have started fighting Syrians at Iraq’s border. Can anybody say ‘Cambodia’?
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As I suspected six months ago, U.S. military and Bush administration civilian officials confirmed last week that U.S. forces have invaded Syria and engaged in combat with Syrian forces.

An unknown number of Syrians are acknowledged to have been killed; the number of Americans — if any — who have died in Syria so far has not yet been revealed by the U.S. sources, who by the way insist on remaining faceless and nameless.

The parallel with the Vietnam War, where a Nixon administration deeply involved in a losing war expanded the conflict — fruitlessly in the event — to neighboring Cambodia, is obvious. The end result was not changed in Vietnam; Cambodia itself was plunged into dangerous chaos, which climaxed in the killing fields, where an estimated 1 million Cambodians died as a result of internal conflict.

The End of the Beginning
The Belmont Club
October 15, 2005

(Speculation alert) I think most rational observers, however anti-American, must have by now come to the grudging conclusion that the insurgency is a lost cause in Iraq. As Athena at Terrorism Unveiled and Dan Darling pointed out in their analysis of the captured letter from Zawahiri to Zarqawi, the insurgency’s terror tactics have been a huge mistake from Day One. Athena puts summarizes Zawahiri’s message to Zarqawi eloquently. “His cowboy ways aren’t winning him any strategic alliances. And on the sectarian strife among Sunni Muslims, Zawahiri is basically saying ‘Drop it.’ “

. . .

While the situation in Iraq seemed doubtful, the US could not credibly address the Syrian issue because its Iraqi commitments precluded any action against Damascus. Now the Assad regime knows that US forces will not long be occupied in Iraq they are sweating bullets. Ironically the availability of US forces means that they will probably not have to be used in Syria. Newsweek Magazine claims that the US had considered launching cross-border operations against Iraqi insurgent targets Syria on October 1 — another publicly released telltale that US policy is ready to come out of the closet — but were dissuaded by Condoleeza Rice who argued that “diplomatic isolation is working against al-Assad, especially on the eve of a U.N. report that may blame Syria for the murder of Lebanese politician Rafik Hariri”. Diplomacy would not have been enough while the insurgency tied down America. With the insurgency fading fast, diplomacy may be enough.

Nobody knows what the future holds, but how can two opinions vary so dramatically about what’s going on right now? Hint: one opinion comes from a hopelessly biased political partisan.