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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Either They Change Or We Change Them

Andrew Sullivan had this to say about the current terror situation:

The future is grim. Until the Arab Muslim world lets go of its refusal to embrace modernity and its rigid, honor-bound defense of the most extreme version of Islam, we will have to fight a long grueling war, in which I fear some nuclear or WMD exchange is inevitable. We will lose many many more civilians.

I omitted his obligatory Bush-bashing introduction in order to provide a clear, logical and serious comment by someone I once respected. Sullivan's quote above shows there is nothing caused or created by anything a real or mentally "created from whole cloth" American leader has done. The kid gloves approach of warfare is failing.

Step it up!

Iran Tells CBS of its Peaceful Intentions

In an interview with Mike Wallace, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the problem with world peace is due to the actions of George Bush:

"They want to build an empire. And they don't want to live side-by-side in peace with other nations. The American government, sir, it is very clear to me they have to change their behavior and everything will be resolved. (George W. Bush) believes that his power emanates from his nuclear warhead arsenals. The time of the bomb is in the past, it's behind us. Today is the era of thoughts, dialogue and cultural exchanges."

How does that jibe with his public comments that he would "wipe Israel off the map".

Did Wallace hit him with one of those tough follow-up questions he is famous for or will this interview compare with Rather's last interview with Saddam where he played footsie with a dictator for continued access?

This just reported on Powerline. Wallace finds Ahmadinejad:

"He's actually, in a strange way, he's a rather attractive man, very smart, savvy, self-assured, good looking in a strange way," Wallace said. "He's very, very short but he's comfortable in his own skin."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

WTC Came Down On Their Own

When Othello reacts to his wife, Desdemona's death, we the audience have seen that he is the killer. Per Debbie Schlussel, viewers of Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, never see or hear about who actually caused the buildings to come down. Why would that issue be avoided?

Writes Schlussel:

In a set of scenes NOT taken from actual newsclips, but made to look like them, Stone shows people upset from all over the world. Noticeable are many scenes of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere, all sullen and upset that America was attacked.

Reality check: Did you see any scenes of Muslims upset that America was attacked on 9/11? No. Instead, we saw Muslims dancing in the streets all over the world, including in Palestinian-dominated Patterson, New Jersey. Even the normally "sensitive" MTV News got that story right. Why didn't Oliver Stone?

This is Stone rewriting (or as Schlussel calls it "Whitewashing") history again.

More "What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen"

Continuing in the "What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen" theme of Bastiat, 3 columns today in Townhall.com highlight this idea that the harm done by certain actions or thinking occurs without a clear connection. Sometimes the harm is never recognized.

John Stossel writes about the harm caused by trial lawyers and their lawsuits. In the pharmaceutical arena the unseen is the reduction in life-improving or life-saving drugs created by manufacturers who choose to not bring products to market due to fear of expensive lawsuits. Lawyers can assert in court with minimal proof birth defects due to a drug (that is how John WEdwards has made a great living). Then after the drug is removed from the market (or the company goes out of business), empirical data show no decrease in those birth defects that were alleged to have been caused by the defendant drug.

Thomas Sowell shows how "Studies prove..." may not be a credible introduction to any report. Sowell relates a personal experience of when he worked in the US Labor Department early in his career where his draft report for Sec'y Goldberg contained summaries of 4 studies, 2 that supported a proposal and 2 that disproved the proposal. Higher ups redacted the references to the negative reports in order for Goldberg to assert to Congress that "studies prove" their position. What was never seen maybe even by Goldberg is the opposite data.

Last, Walter Williams discusses the minimum wage. The simple concept that employers will use alternative means to produce a good or service with fewer employees when the cost of those employees in wages (and benefits) exceeds their production is unseen. Companies produce off-shore or replace human bodies with so the owner can earn a profit. Min wage proponents do not see that if the business does not turn a profit, investors will direct their capital elsewhere. And, of course, the entry level worker remains unemployed with nothing to place on their resume.

Read them all.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Rummy is Right

In Cal Thomas' positive essay on Donald Rumsfeld's recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Thomas quotes the Secretary of Defense's description of the difference between the methods employed by the US and terrorists:

"One side does all it can to avoid civilian casualties, while the other side uses civilians as shields, and then skillfully orchestrates a public outcry when the other side accidentally kills civilians in their midst. One side is held to exacting standards of near perfection; the other side is held to no standards and no accountability at all."

Skip March comments:

Cal Thomas is right on with his piece "Rumsfeld is Right". I have often thought about what would have happened if Americans and others fighting Germany had been inundated (without continuing context by the media) of the carnage in that last German offensive. To be sure both strategic and tactical mistakes were made by Allied forces. Additionally, we were throwing troops (both woefully under-trained and under-equipped) into the battle throughout those months. As at the beginning of the war, there were many who would have cut a deal with the devil (Hitler) for any one of a variety of reasons.

In the end, Hitler and his regime had to be utterly destroyed because of what he was and what he stood for. FDR knew this as early as the mid-1930's. And while telling Americans during the 1940 Presidential election he would not send American boys to Europe, he knew full well that there would be a time, sooner than later, that he would have to. There was a moral imperative for defeating Hitler's Germany and Tojo's Japan. President Bush has insisted, with Tony Blair by the way, that we and the world take action on today's moral imperative of defeating radical Islamic terrorism (that has its roots in Nazi facism) and has done so most demonstratively in Iraq. Israel now insists that the world meet its moral responsibilities (as articulated once again under UN resolutions) with Hezbollah, Hamas and radical Islamic terrorism.

Mark Reynolds adds:

Just last night I said to my wife that the enemy we face today is greater than the Nazi’s. Yes the Nazi’s were evil – there can be no doubt about that. The atrocities that they perpetrated on the Jewish people and others is truly an abomination and nothing, even that which we face today, can make the Nazi’s and the acts they committed any less disgusting and hateful. Evil is evil.

However now we find ourselves pitted against a group of peoples who hate all of western society, whether you are Jewish, Christian, atheist, it doesn’t matter (now this does not make them more evil than the Nazi’s but it does make that evil dangerous to a larger group of people). Further, other than the occasional spy (who was gathering tactical information not trying to kill civilians) German nationalists did not live among us. Now in all the western world, Europe, Canada and here in the US, islamofascist groups live and plot in our towns and cities.

And the advantages that we had in World War II are no longer: fighting a war against a nation, as opposed to fighting a shadowy group of terrorists; fighting the war on specific fronts (i.e. battles where advancing and winning meant taking areas of land) as opposed to fighting a hatred of our society; a national media which supported patriotism and national interest as opposed to a national media intent on bringing down a President and bent on its own ideology so much so that they are blind to the evil that will engulf them as surly as it would engulf us all; a nation where young men and women gladly joined our armed services or took jobs in factories to support the war effort as opposed to a nation were parents aren’t willing to have their kids even be exposed to an Army recruiter on high school and college campus’ and those who do serve are derided as less educated and not skilled enough to find a job in the “real world”; a resolute nation willing to bear any hardship for the defeat of evil as opposed to a population, fat here at home, which gets uncomfortable at the very mention of any bad news coming from the war. And on top of it, because of our actions in Vietnam, we have an enemy that knows that all they have to do is stick it out until the media in America gets the public worked up enough to demand that the troops be brought home.

The picture, my friends, is not a rosy one.

Let's Step It Up!

Am I for a cease fire in Lebanon? No. Not in the least. Actually, I am for escalation into Syria and Iran. Why would a ceasefire be counter-productive? Because it would not provide what is ultimately needed. What action is needed?

Caroline Glick provides my answer:

That action is an Israeli victory against Hizbullah in Lebanon, and an Israeli and allied strike against Hizbullah's state sponsors Syria and Iran, which promote Hizbullah's wanton aggression against Israel as a central campaign in their global jihad aimed at annihilating the Jewish state and defeating Western civilization.

If Israel merely buys itself a short piece of ground, "buffer zone", from the katyusha rockets, such a resolution will be of little value. The Iranians are arming Hezbollah with more damaging long-range weaponry. So Israel will buy itself months of quiet until the next, perhaps fatal, onslaught. Israel needs a decisive victory. Not in terms to save Olmert's political status. One to survive.

And if Israel loses this one, it bodes ill for US security. Syria and Iran are major pieces in the "insurrection" in Iraq. They are our enemy in a hot war. Let's face it and step it up!

Bush Gives Israel Longest Leash

During the course of this Middle East War, American Jews must face up to the undeniable point that George Bush has supported Israel like no other US President has ever done. With anti-Israel rhetoric from Europe and Leftists worldwide, Bush has allowed Israel fight the type of war it believes will ensure its security.

Jonathan Tobin writes in the Jewish World Review:

Never before has any U.S. president ever gone out of his way to publicly give Israel such latitude during the course of battle. Not Harry S. Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon or Ronald Reagan; none went as far out on a limb as Bush has gone to back the Israelis. Nor has any president so flagrantly ignored the advice of the foreign-policy establishment, which has always sought to enforce a more evenhanded approach between Israelis and Arabs.

And he has done the politically unpopular during an oil crisis, an election year and against the wishes of a mainstream press that accepts all Muslim propaganda as fact. Maybe his Jewish denouncers can see in the biased reporting about Israel that the criticism of the MSM against all things conservative has credence.

Yes, Bush is either shocking you critics or you have been consumed by hatred and missed the truth. Here is Tobin again:

Bush's refusal to appease Palestinian terrorists — as his predecessors have done — didn't elect Hamas or cause the second intifada. Rather, it allowed Israel to contain terror that was encouraged by the Clinton's administration's feckless pursuit of a deal with terrorists who didn't want peace.

Bush's refusal to deal with the rogue regimes of Iran and Syria merely acknowledged a reality that "pragmatists" pretended did not exist. Support of these states for terror is a function of their own ideology, not Bush's backing of Israel. The diplomatic overtures — a code word for appeasement — advocated by writers like Friedman and Rubin to Tehran and Damascus will encourage the Islamists to think America hasn't the stomach to back its ally.

And a Kerry presidency? Given his admitted fondness for the Euro approach, there would have been a ceasefire weeks ago. Yes, there would have been fewer lives lost from Israeli bombs. But, would there have been more deaths in Israel to come?

Monday, August 07, 2006

If You Think Iran Is Tough Now, Just Wait....

Frontpage Magazine carried an essay by Matthias Dopfner entitled: Europe -- Thy Name Is Cowardice that stated unabashed admiration for presidents Reagan and Bush for facing up to the tyrrany that Europe did not have the bravery to confront. He writes:

Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians. Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore 300,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, to issue bad grades to George Bush. A particularly grotesque form of appeasement is reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere by suggesting that we should really have a Muslim holiday in Germany.

It is easy to point fingers when you have no skin in the game.

Skip March writes the following:

Criticism of the Bush Administration's Middle East policy from the Left (aka Democratic Party), is that we have lost our moral authority in the Middle East, or the world for that matter, and therefore cannot bring warring parties together. Moral authority presumes that one is willing to, and actively does take a moral stand. This President has, more than any other President, taken that moral stand against terrorism and in support of Israel. not just words, but action. Further, he has been very willing to work with Arab governments that see continued proliferation of terrorism in the Middle East as destructive to their own countries. This realization by these countries is more a fear of Iranian hegemony than it is a moral issue, but it does not diminish this president's moral position.

Democrats, on the other hand, view moral authority through appeasement of terrorist states and their proxies, if not making some sort of deal with the devil. They keep talking about moral authority, but can't stake out a position that is morally defensible. This talk flies in the face of everything we should have learned during the past 2 decades, at the least.

Further, the surprising strength of Hezbollah is a direct result of the failed policies of appeasement and hollow cease fires. And once again tells us that intelligence gathering is not perfect and we should not wait for some mathematical probability of assurance or accuracy. It also tells us how necessary pre-emptive action on Iraq has been, despite how difficult it may be. Frankly, it is no where near as difficult as what Israel has to experience. So, if you think Iraq is difficult now, imagine how it would be if in full control of WMD's. If you think Hezbollah and Hamas are tough imagine how tough they would be with WMD's. If you think Iran and Syria are tough now, just wait..........


Carnival of the Capitalists

I got a nice plug at The Carnival of the Capitalists today:

Neal Phenes at Et Tu Bloge presents Chicago Attacks Walmart-Ends Up Like Hezbollah. This is a well-written and thoughtful post about how those claiming to look out for "the little guy" can actually do him more harm that good.

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