Friday, October 29, 2004

Some Thoughts 

I have become convinced that the New York Times and CBS are reduced to preaching to the choir about the al-QaQaa "munitions looting -- security breakdown". People who actually think are not buying the story. A huge amount of evidence has come out that punches all kinds of holes in it. The most recent, out this morning, is the statement by Major Austin Pearson of the 3rd ID that he and his team removed some 250 tons of munitions and other materials from al-QaQaa in April 2003. It is still unclear exactly how much HMX, RDX and PETN was stored at the facility, and when, and what happened to it, but it is becoming clearer and clearer that the nut of the story -- that the US military allowed 380 tons of explosives to be looted by Iraqis during Operation Iraqi Freedom -- is not true. And the Times still hasn't mentioned that the Army has destroyed 400,000 tons of munitions in Iraq since the war began. (Do the math -- 380 divided by 400,000 equals about .001, or one-tenth of one percent. In the greater scheme of things, it would be what lawyers call "de minimis." ("a trifle")

The New York Times, in its rush to break the story, didn't do its homework, thereby putting another nail in the coffin of its once-proud reputation. I can barely wait for the day the Gray Lady displays a banner something like, "700 Pound Baby Gives Birth To Space Alien," a la the Weekly World News. Thank heaven that the story began to leak, which forced the hand of the NYT and CBS, who wanted to break the story on October 31 in a clear effort to affect the election in favor of John Kerry.

That Mr. Kerry glommed onto the story with the enthusiasm of a hungry bulldog grabbing a hamburger suggests, (a) he's desperate; (b) he's not getting much traction with other issues; and (c) he believes the remaining undecided voters are ignorant fools.

On Mr. Kerry, it seems that many of the bloggers who have recently endorsed him are saying things like, "He has said ...." and then go on to relate how Kerry will be an effective war president, will support the military, will be more effective in fighting terrorism than Bush. My only response: look at what he's done, not what he has said since he began running for president. It amazes me how those who in one breath say that "all politicians are liars" can in the next point to a politician's campaign promises as reason to vote for him. Especially when those promises contradict in a fundamental way almost everything in his public record.

I say, if you want to know the true measure of someone, look at what he does, not at what he says. Kerry has for 30 years been anti-war, anti-military and a self-described "internationalist" and demonstrated those sentiments in his actions. He is almost the archetypical "blame America firster." I find it difficult to believe that such a man can credibly claim that he will be a more effective leader against Islamofascist terrorists (who are getting at least tacit support from the French, Germans, Russians and Chinese, not to mention the UN) than George Bush, who has taken bold action to respond to the threat that perpetrated the murders on September 11.

For me, there's only one issue in this election. Let Congress deal with the domestic issues -- that's where the real policy is made on those issues anyway. As I have repeatedly said, national security is Job #1 for the President. John Kerry is not the man for that job. George Bush is -- he has proved that he will bow to no one when it comes to protecting the United States from its enemies.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Bosox in 4!!!!!!!! 

Tonight, I know nothing abouit Mudville, but there is definitely joy in Beantown and all across New England. Faith is rewarded! Congratulations Red Sox!

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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Newspaper of Record? 

Yesterday the New York Times ran a front-page piece about the alleged disappearance of 380 tons of HMX and RDX high explosive from a site in Iraq known as al-Qaqaa, while the site was under US control. John Kerry lost no time in exploiting the purported misfeasance by the Bush administration in his campaign speeches. Last night, MSNBC reported that its reporters embedded with the 101st Airborne Div. in Operation Iraqi Freedom saw no sign of the explosives when the US soldiers first arrived at the base.
NBC News: Miklaszewski: “April 10, 2003, only three weeks into the war, NBC News was embedded with troops from the Army's 101st Airborne as they temporarily take over the Al Qakaa weapons installation south of Baghdad. But these troops never found the nearly 380 tons of some of the most powerful conventional explosives, called HMX and RDX, which is now missing. The U.S. troops did find large stockpiles of more conventional weapons, but no HMX or RDX, so powerful less than a pound brought down Pan Am 103 in 1988, and can be used to trigger a nuclear weapon. In a letter this month, the Iraqi interim government told the International Atomic Energy Agency the high explosives were lost to theft and looting due to lack of security. Critics claim there were simply not enough U.S. troops to guard hundreds of weapons stockpiles, weapons now being used by insurgents and terrorists to wage a guerrilla war in Iraq.” (NBC’s “Nightly News,” 10/25/04)
A publication claiming to be the national Newspaper of Record should not have left itself open to this kind of rebuttal. It's clear that they didn't fact-check the story. The spirit of Jayson Blair is alive and well in the NYT, it seems.

The National Enquirer has learned the hard way -- defending defamation cases -- to verify its facts before publishing. The Times would do well to learn the same lesson.

Wretchard at Belmont Club provides his usual astute analysis.

Today Cliff May at The Corner said that "The Iraqi explosives story is a fraud." His source in the government says it is a deliberate falsehood issued by the IAEA head Mohammed El Baradei in an attempt to unseat Bush.

I guess Newsweek's Evan Thomas was right when he said the MSM wants Kerry to win. Money quote from the link:
MR. THOMAS: There's one other base here, the media. Let's talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win and I think they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards I'm talking about the establishment media, not Fox. They're going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and there's going to be this glow about them, collective glow, the two of them, that's going to be worth maybe 15 points.

That was from back in July. Interesting how things have gone since then, isn't it?

Bottom line: How will we ever again be able to trust the MSM to give us straight news?

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Saturday, October 23, 2004

Small John Kerry 

John Kerry is a small man. Obviously, I don't mean small in physical stature -- I'm talking about small in character.

A small man can't admit he's wrong. A small man doesn't care about people of lesser status unless there's something in it for him. When something bad happens to a small man, it's always someone else's fault.

One recent example of Kerry's smallness: his reference to Mary Cheney in the third debate. Raising Ms. Cheney's sexual orientation was not responsive to the question asked, which was about same-sex marriage. Bringing her name up at all was inappropriate, as Ms. Cheney had not been out campaigning for her father or the President, or if she had been, she was definitely not a high profile figure in the campaign. Despite the ensuing uproar, Kerry has not apologized either to Ms. Cheney or her family for his invasion of her privacy. Instead, he has offered a (rather lame) explanation of what he meant.

Another anecdote: Kerry is skiing; he takes a tumble. Upon getting up he says something like, "I don't fall down! That SOB ran into me." The "SOB" Kerry is referring to is a secret service agent, whose job it is to take a bullet for Kerry, if necessary. I've read no account of any apology by Kerry to the agent. Of course, he might have apologized privately, but it seems to me that a public remark like that deserves a public apology.

Yet another: Back in September, Outdoor Life magazine ran an "interview" with Kerry in which Kerry said he owned a Communist Chinese assault rifle. Assault rifles were illegal at the time. Upon further inquiry, Kerry's campaign office said that the "interview" wasn't a real conversation between Kerry and the reporter, but was really a response prepared by Kerry's staff to written questions submitted by the magazine. So "the staff" was to blame for the kerfuffle, not Small John.

Most famously, Kerry testified before the United States Senate in 1971 about atrocities committed by US troops in Vietnam, as reported in the VVAW's Detroit "Winter Soldier investigation." Kerry's testimony was a propaganda goldmine for the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong, as it gave great credence to their claims of war crimes by the United States. As it turned out, many of those who testified in Detroit were never in Vietnam, and some were not even in the military. One participant has recently come out and said he was pressured to make untrue statements in support of the VVAW's agenda. Kerry has stated that perhaps his antiwar activities were youthful indiscretions, and that he might better have expressed himself differently, but he has never apologized for the statements he made, or for the effect his activities had on American POWs in North Vietnam. Jane Fonda has apologized for her fawning trip to Hanoi, but not Kerry. To Kerry, apparently, an apology is tantamount to an admission of error, which is impossible for a small man.

Small men are not leaders; they are imperious. Small men do not inspire; they coerce. Small men are the epitome of "do as I say, not as I do." Will America elect a small man as its President in today's dangerous world? I surely hope not.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Way Too Interested In His Hair 

Heh. Indeed. (to shamelessly emulate Instapundit)

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The World We Live In 

It's a sign of the kind of world we live in, I guess. I just heard on Fox News that a small plane crashed in downtown Atlanta. My first thought: "Is this another terrorist attack?"

With two weeks to go until the election for US President, I am expecting an attack by some Islamofascist group on the US before Election Day, on our soil, if they can bring it off. Of course, our people are being attacked daily in Iraq, but that's a war zone so it "doesn't count" -- try telling that to the families of the dead. Russia's Putin got it right. The escalating levels of attack are aimed squarely at defeating Bush, as well as being an attempt to make the Iraqi elections impossible.

The fact that Yassir Arafat hopes Kerry will win should tell you something, too.

The bad guys are afraid of Bush, and believe they'll be better off with Kerry. How are you going to vote?

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Monday, October 18, 2004

Has Kerry Been Excommunicated? 

Hindrocket at PowerLineBlog points to this Catholic World News article, which suggests that John Kerry, as well as any other Catholic politician who advocates abortion, has been excommunicated.

This hasn't hit the news because the type of excommunication that applies in these cases, called latae sententiae, occurs automatically and does not require formal pronouncement by a church official. It strikes me that this is a rather complex issue of canon law, so read the article and decide for yourself.

I have no idea what effect, if any, this will have on Kerry's campaign. I do, however, have an opinion about what kind of person Kerry is. (No duh! -- Ed.)

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Jihad in the 19th Century 

Little Green Footballs pointed to this article on Sunday. John Quincy Adams understood jihad. Money quote:
"he [Muhammad] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind…The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God.”

And here's another quote from Adams:
"The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force. Of Mahometan good faith, we have had memorable examples ourselves. When our gallant [Stephen] Decatur ref had chastised the pirate of Algiers, till he was ready to renounce his claim of tribute from the United States, he signed a treaty to that effect: but the treaty was drawn up in the Arabic language, as well as in our own; and our negotiators, unacquainted with the language of the Koran, signed the copies of the treaty, in both languages, not imagining that there was any difference between them. Within a year the Dey demands, under penalty of the renewal of the war, an indemnity in money for the frigate taken by Decatur; our Consul demands the foundation of this pretension; and the Arabic copy of the treaty, signed by himself is produced, with an article stipulating the indemnity, foisted into it, in direct opposition to the treaty as it had been concluded. The arrival of Chauncey, with a squadron before Algiers, silenced the fraudulent claim of the Dey, and he signed a new treaty in which it was abandoned; but he disdained to conceal his intentions; my power, said he, has been wrested from my hands; draw ye the treaty at your pleasure, and I will sign it; but beware of the moment, when I shall recover my power, for with that moment, your treaty shall be waste paper. (emphasis mine)

This is the mindset of those to whom John Kerry would "reach out" and thereby solve the problem of Islamofascist terrorism.

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Crushing of Dissent 

We keep hearing from the Left that the Bush administration is crushing all dissent, violating free speech, etc., etc.

Why is it, then, that we've yet to hear that Michael Moore has been arrested, or Kos has been shut down, or Moveon.org has been silenced?

What we do hear of is a string of violent acts against the Bush campaign. Just who is silencing whom? And why do the perpetrators feel so strongly that the Bush message must be suppressed?

A scarier thought: is this the kind of thing we can expect with regularity if Kerry is elected?

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Monday, October 11, 2004

John "Time Warp" Kerry 

I posted a comment yesterday on Roger Simon's blog to the effect that sometime in the last few days it struck me that John Kerry was stuck in the 1970s. His approaches to international relations (the UN, diplomacy, summits, ICC, Kyoto), national defense (treaties and alliances, everyone acts in concert), and even domestic issues (all wisdom and justice emanate from Washington) would be right at home in 1973. Not only are his solutions of that vintage, but what is more dangerous is that his perceptions have frozen in the 1970s as well. (E.g., that diplomacy will solve everything, even with Islamofascist death cultists who are trying to obtain chemical, biologcal, radiological and nuclear weapons; that a weaker United States is a good thing, because then our friends in Europe and Asia will have less reason to fear us.) Further evidence is Kerry's fixation on the Vietnam war.

I suggested a new nickname for Mr. Kerry: "Time Warp."

Wretchard has a different take -- he thinks the operative decade is the 1990s:
When the newfangled description of terrorism as a "blended threat" is subtracted, the entire program consists of the policies of the late 1990s. Bilateral talks with North Korea. Oslo. G-8. The United Nations. Warrants of arrest. Extradition requests. Not a single new element in the entire package, except the fancy rationale. There is nothing wrong with that, any more than there is anything objectionable about a flashlight, but a more candid characterization of Kerry's proposals is not a voyage into uncharted waters so much as return to the world of September 10; in Kerry's words "back to the place we were". It has the virtue of producing known results, and suffers only from the defect that those results do not include being able to prevent massive attacks on the American mainland.

Well, OK, maybe. But the nickname still works.

The real issue is, can we afford the luxury of a 20th century thinker in a 21st century environment?

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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

A Non-political Post 

(What, such things exist? Ed. Yes, amazing, isn't it?)

The October, 2004 issue of Scientific American has an interesting article at page 60 about new research that suggests that the intron DNA in complex organisms (like humans) that doesn't code for proteins has an important regulatory role. The article proposes that the so-called "junk" DNA is transcribed and processed into RNA segments that have a direct role in many cellular processes, including such things as determining what kind of tissue a particular stem cell may give rise to.

This research has application in such areas as the cause and treatment of genetic diseases, cancer and susceptibility to viruses, as well as implications for the development of new drugs. Exciting stuff, and I wouldn't be surprised to be reading a lot more about this in the foreseeable future.

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Required Reading 

If you're a blog fan, you probably already know about Bill Whittle's latest essay. It's long, but well worth the time. Even if you plan to vote for Kerry, it's well worth the time.

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Saturday, October 02, 2004

Samarra Action Analyzed 

Wretchard at Belmont Club gives us his usual well-reasoned analysis of the joint Iraqi-US action in Samarra that began Thursday.

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Friday, October 01, 2004

Why Vietnam 

The Presidency is all about being the one person who makes the final decisions, and who takes the credit or the blame for how those decisions ultimately work out. The most "accountabilty-dense" job in the world, if you will.

It flashed on me last night that one reason John Kerry is emphasizing his Vietnam experience so much might be that it is the last time he held a position of individual responsibility, as skipper of a PCF.

Think about it. In his VVAW days, he was a spokesperson, and certainly high-visibility, but the organization itself was essentially a committee. If there was a single influential member, Kerry wasn't it. As a lawyer, Kerry was an assistant DA (or something similar -- the point is, he wasn't the boss) then he was one of two partners in a law firm. Then he was Michael Dukakis' Lieutenant Governor and then he became a US Senator (essentially, one member of a committee of 100). At no time since being a Swift Boat skipper has John Kerry ever been solely accountable for anything in a managerial or executive sense.

So, here's a guy that's seeking a job as CEO of a huge organization, but the only executive experience he has is from 30 years ago. What part of his resume should he emphasize? How does he compare with the guy who has held the job for 31/2 years?

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One Who's Been There Rebuts Kerry 

I thought this critique of Kerry's remark about "outsourcing" the Tora Bora campaign in Afghanistan was pretty interesting. The Indepundit, aka LT Smash, was of course in "the sandbox" during most of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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