Saturday, September 30, 2006

Zawahiri's Latest Video 

Reading Walid Phares' analysis of Zawahiri's latest video posted on the Internet on 29 September, I wondered whether Zawahiri was echoing the Democrats' talking points, or the Democrats are echoing his.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Clinton's Eight Years; Bush's Eight Months 

I keep reading and hearing the argument that Clinton made to Chris Wallace last Sunday that Bush didn't do anything about al Qaeda in his first eight months in the White House, so don't pick on Ol' Bill because "At least Ah trahd."

If I recall correctly, Bush's first eight months were primarily consumed with getting his own appointees into the government to replace Clinton's folks, and the Democrat-controlled Senate was not in any hurry to confirm many of the lower-tier appointees. See this WaPo item by Brookings scholar Paul C. Light.

Now, it may be true (I don't know) that most if not all of the appointees who had anything to do with national security had been appointed and confirmed by the Senate by the middle of August, 2001, but I know from my own experience that it takes a while to get up to speed in any new job, and if it involves complex organizations and issues, it will take a minimum of three months, more like six, to become minimally effective in a new position. Add to that the fact that in departments like Defense and State the entrenched bureaucrats will always tend to do things the way they always have and it's a safe bet that the Bush Administration was largely well down on the learning curve on September 11.

Even if the Clinton Administration had presented the Bushies with a fully-formed battle plan for going after bin Laden in Afghanistan on January 20, it seems to me unlikely that, with all the issues that accompany not only a change in administrations but a change in party, the new administration was in a position to focus on what was then deemed to be a real, but not catastrophic, threat.

From where I sit, the Clinton Administration was overlawyered and, as lawyers often will, they concentrated way too much on process and procedure and not enough on the quickest and best way to achieve their desired result.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Chavez Bails 

Drudge is reporting that Cesar Chavez is "fleeing" New York, having cancelled a number of appointments today.

Look for claims by Chavez that US agents were assigned to assassinate him while he was in the US. With no evidence other than Chavez' past behavior, I believe this whole thing was preplanned.

It's too bad that Chomsky isn't emigrating to Venezuela with ol' Cesar.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Chavez's Blurb 

I'm watching Fox News, they cut to the UN, where Cesar Chavez, dictator of Venezuela, is speaking. He's recommending that the delegates read Noam Chomsky's book.

This is enlightening on many levels. Need I say more?

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Or Friends, The French 

Here's yet another reason why I would rather be fighting against the French than having them as an ally.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Muslims and the Pope's Speech 

I'm not going to link to anything because if you don't know the story you've been trapped underground for a week.

The Muslim world's reaction to the Pope's speech, and specifically to the quote from the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus in the late 14th century, eloquently demonstrates that not much has changed in Muslim thought in 600 years.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey gets it exactly right.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

A 9/11 Commemorative 

I know I'm a day late and a dollar short here, but I thought I'd post a poem that my 13 year-old daughter wrote about the events of September 11, 2001:

On This Day

On this day
The sun blew out,
The stars winked out,
The moon went dark.

On this day
Horror stopped breath
Terror shocked minds
Sobbing filled hearts.

On this day
Lives were saved
Lives were ruined
Lives were changed.

On this day
Many died
They're gone from us
Our families cry.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I heard on the TV news this morning that some Democrats of the Teddy Kennedy wing of the party are saying that President Bush's speech last night was "partisan."

To paraphrase the punchline of an old lawyer joke, Sen. K and his buddies evidently believe that Bush is being partisan whenever his lips move.

I belive psychologists call this phenomenon "projection."

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Path to 9/11 

Lots of hoo-hah about this film. I don't know if I'll watch or not, but all the "debate" has prompted the following thoughts in my feverish brain:

CBS News ran a story on Bush's TANG service and ultimately justified it as "fake but accurate."

ABC Entertainment produces a dramatized account of what led to the attacks of 9/11 and says upfront that it has exercised dramatic license in order to get the correct overview of the story.

The Left didn't make so much as a peep about a "fake but accurate" news story, but raises holy Hell about an admittedly fictional dramatization of an 8-year process beginning with the first WTC bombing and ending on 9/11.

The Right raised holy Hell about the "fake but accurate" news story, but isn't complaining at all about the dramatization that by all accounts doesn't treat the Bushies any better than the Clintonistas.

Anybody has the right to raise holy Hell about anything they don't like. First Amendment.

The Democrats are now hinting about revoking ABC's broadcast license if they run the program.
Last time I looked, the First Amendment prohibited exactly that kind of thing.

Now, which is the party of the people? Which party stands for the Constitution? Which party is more trustworthy in regards to protecting constitutional rights for everyone?

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Just a Reminder 

There is a difference between being "innocent" of a crime and being found "not guilty".

If a defendant is "innocent," it means he didn't commit the crime. If he is deemed "not guilty," it means that the prosecution was unable, for whatever reason, to convince the jury (or judge, in a court trial) to the requisite level of certainty that the defendant committed the crime. In the United States, innocent-in-fact defendants are rarely convicted. Much more often, the actual perpetrator of a crime is found "not guilty." A verdict of "not guilty" means the defendant walks, and under our system can never again be tried for the same crime, no matter what additional evidence comes to light, and even if he subsequently freely admits to committing the crime.

These concepts should be kept in mind by our elected representatives in Washington as they mull over what evidence can and cannot be used, and under what circumstances, in the tribunals that will be trying the men currently being detained at Guantanamo. There may be one or two "innocent" men among those being detained there, but I doubt it.

In trying those cases, if a prosecutor cannot use evidence collected by covert means without disclosing to the defendant (and therefore to the world) the hows, whos and wheres of its collection, it is likely that the prosecutor will decline to introduce that evidence if the source is still generating information of value to the military in fighting the Islamofascist terrorists. That evidence may make the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.

It would be, in my opinion, a very bad thing for America and Western civilization if any of those guys were set free to continue their jihadist activities. Better to detain them "for the duration" as permitted under Geneva Convention rules.

As it has become apparent in recent years in the context of technological progress, the law is running at least a decade behind real world events in many circumstances. That resistance to change is probably an immutable characteristic of our system of justice, and in most cases it's a good thing, or at least neutral. In the case of fighting what has been called The Long War, it is arguably a bad thing, and perhaps even a recipe for cultural suicide. I saw Prof. Jonathan Turley on Fox News Channel say that if we don't hold on to our principles, the terrorists will have won. Unfortunately, we may have to make the choice between being principled and dead or living (and repentant) ethical backsliders.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

"Moderate Muslims" and Western Society 

Read this chilling essay by the blogger Fjordman at Gates of Vienna. It's long, so make sure you're not in a time crunch. Then stop and think about what you just read. Think hard, then come back.

Go! This post will still be here when you are done, unless Blogspot crashes and burns.

The first thing that crossed my mind is, what does the First Amendment's right of religious freedom mean when it is confronted with a religion that has among its tenets that sharia law must supplant secular law and that the worldwide caliphate must supplant all nation-states? In other words, if it is true that good Muslims are required to work toward overthrowing the government and replace it with an Islamic state, does the First Amendment's free exercise clause require that the government let them do so? If not, where should the law draw the line between free exercise of religion and sedition?

The establishment and free exercise clauses were written in the historical context of established state religions such as Catholicism in the Holy Roman Empire and Spain and the Church of England in Britain. It seems pretty obvious to me that the Founding Fathers were not thinking of Islam when they authored the Bill of Rights. However, the notion of religious beliefs outside the established church being equated with treason and sedition is something that they were undoubtedly familiar with.

I think that this is the question that will ultimately determine whether the United States Constitution is in fact a suicide pact. Alternatively, the Muslim infiltration of Western society as described by Fjordman will become so complete as to make the issue moot.

Those who think this issue will go away are ostriching.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Prelude to Jihad in America 

Anybody who doesn't believe my oft-stated opinion that radical Islam/Islamofascism is an existential threat to our culture needs to read this piece by Walid Phares. And the longer follow-up version that he promises.

While you're at it, you should also look at this Powerpoint presentation by Vice Director Admiral Sullivan of the JCS Strategic Planning and Policy organization.

In the second century BC (or BCE if you prefer), the Roman senator Cato the Elder repeated the slogan "Carthago delenda est" ("Carthage must be destroyed.") whenever and wherever he could. Cato believed that Carthage was still Rome's most potent rival in the Mediterranean, and unless destroyed would ultimately threaten Rome's very existence. Finally Rome started the Third Punic War, which resulted in the destruction of Carthage and the slaughter or enslavement of its citizens. Al Qaeda's latest video featuring "Azzam al Amrikee" is its version of Cato's theme, except to them it's "America delenda est."

The MSM, led by the New York Times and the legacy network news agencies, apparently still do not believe these people represent a serious threat to the United States and its people, even after 9/11. They persist in their foolish multiculturalist/moral equivalence take on world events, and will no doubt continue to do so until they themselves suffer in the next terrorist attack on America.

Thanks to Instapundit for the pointer. (No link--you already know how to get there.)

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