Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who Should Control Knighthood?

The best I've seen on the Rushdie Knighthood Affair yet:

It should not be - It should not be a matter - we should not have our distribution ofhonors controlled by and affected by considerations of how it will go down amongst the mullahs in Tehran. That is completely wrong.

Dead on.

Unleashing A Middle East Powder Keg

In From The Cold wonders How Israel Might Fight:

In the opening stages of the Israeli scenario, we believe the IDF would move quickly to seal off the West Bank and Gaza, without a major incursion into either region. With the limited strike options available to Hamas and the PA, Israel could wait to deal with those threats, while addressing more pressing concerns on its northern border, the Golan and in Iran.

As ground forces close off Gaza and the West Bank, the Israeli Air Force could launch its long-predicted strike against Iran, aimed at disabling that country's nuclear and long-range missile programs. Surprise is of the essence, and an early attack against Tehran would reduce that potential threat--before enemy air defenses go on heightened alert, and before the IDF become pre-occupied with operations over Lebanon and Syria.

Given the distance and routing considerations associated with the raid, the strike on Iran would (most likely) be a one-time shot. The Israelis understand that Tehran's retaliatory options are limited to attacks by proxies, and long-range strikes, using its relatively small arsenal of Shahab-3 missiles (the longer-range BM-25 is not believed operational at this time). Israel would employ the Arrow II ballistic missile defense system to counter MRBM attacks, and its own Jericho II missiles--capable of carrying nuclear warheads--for retaliatory strikes, as required.

With the Iranian threat reduced, the Israelis would quickly shift their focus to the Golan Heights and Lebanon. Syria's air force and air defenses could be neutralized rather quickly, giving the Israelis complete control of the skies, and support for a ground assault past the Golan. The IDF has no intention of occupying Damascus, just creating more strategic depth and eliminating forward bases for Syria's FROG-7 rocket force.

Additionally, IAF jets would also pound Syrian airfields that can accommodate cargo aircraft, to prevent aerial resupply from Iran, and trans-shipment to Hizballah. Syrian forces would provide determined resistance on the ground, but they are no match for the IDF. Damascus would also attempt to saturate Israel with missile and rocket attacks, but an IDF advance into Syrian territory would negate that threat, as would air dominance by the IAF. Syrian FROGS and SS-21 missiles are capable of carrying chemical warheads, but Damascus understands that a WMD strike on Israel would invite their own nuclear annihilation. Israel also has another advantage in the expected "missile war" with Syria--the availability of Patriot missile batteries, capable of handling the FROGs and SS-21s, leaving the Arrow II to battle Iran's MRBMs.

As the situation in Syria stabilizes, the IDF would shift its attention to Hizballah and Lebanon. As with Hamas in the south, Hizballah's attack options are limited. However, the success of their rocket attacks against Israel last summer makes it imperative for the IDF to deal with this threat, through a combination of airpower and a ground incursion. As with the Golan operation, the Israelis have no plan for a deep push into Lebanon; instead, they would focus on pushing Hizballah gunners out of range, and disrupting their supply lines into Syria.

After securing the northern front, the Israelis could then deal with the situations in Gaza and the West Bank. To avoid fighting on multiple fronts in the south and east, they might cut a deal with Fatah, allowing them to re-establish control in Gaza after Hamas is crushed. It's an agreement that Mahmoud Abbas would probably support, allowing the IDF to eliminate his enemies (at virtually no cost to Fatah) and pave his return to Gaza City.

An Earth Without People

Scientific American:

“I had a fascinating time talking to engineers and maintenance people in New York City about what it takes to hold off nature. I discovered that our huge, imposing, overwhelming infrastructures that seem so monumental and indestructible are actually these fairly fragile concepts that continue to function and exist thanks to a few human beings on whom all of us really depend. The name ‘Manhattan’ comes from an Indian term referring to hills. It used to be a very hilly island. Of course, the region was eventually flattened to have a grid of streets imposed on it. Around those hills there used to flow about 40 different streams, and there were numerous springs all over Manhattan island. What happened to all that water? There’s still just as much rainfall as ever on Manhattan, but the water has now been suppressed. It’s underground. Some of it runs through the sewage system, but a sewage system is never as efficient as nature in wicking away water. So there is a lot of groundwater rushing around underneath, trying to get out. Even on a clear, sunny day, the people who keep the subway going have to pump 13 million gallons of water away. Otherwise the tunnels will start to flood.

Money Talks

Ace of Spades: An Alternate Protest Idea

Hitchens on Rageboy

It's not all as it seems:

I have actually seen some of these demonstrations, most recently in Islamabad, and all I would do if I were a news editor is ask my camera team to take several steps back from the shot. We could then see a few dozen gesticulating men (very few women for some reason), their mustaches writhing as they scatter lighter fluid on a book or a flag or a hastily made effigy. Around them, a two-deep encirclement of camera crews. When the lights are turned off, the little gang disperses. And you may have noticed that the camera is always steady and in close-up on the flames, which it wouldn't be if there was a big, surging mob involved.

I'm guessing these people don't work a 9-5?

Understanding Iraq

Kilcullen: Understanding Current Operations in Iraq

When we speak of "clearing" an enemy safe haven, we are not talking about destroying the enemy in it; we are talking about rescuing the population in it from enemy intimidation. If we don't get every enemy cell in the initial operation, that's OK. The point of the operations is to lift the pall of fear from population groups that have been intimidated and exploited by terrorists to date, then win them over and work with them in partnership to clean out the cells that remain – as has happened in Al Anbar Province and can happen elsewhere in Iraq as well.

Palestinian Piety

In case we get overly worried that Hamas or Fatah will fall in completely with al Qaeda, we should recall two things:

Their sexual proclivities,


Their choice words in response to comments of support by al Qaeda.

Hitchens and Hitchens on Afghanistan

Hot Air has the video of a debate in which Christopher Hitchens and his brother debate the efficacy of the British presence in Afghanistan.

Hitchens wins the debate. Christopher Hitchens


This is great.

GITMO or death?

They choose death, via jihad.

And Guantanamo isn't even so bad. Ask Morris D. Davis. Courtesy, the tank.

Proof that a picture really does speak a thousand words

Intelligence. via Powerline.

Why do they swim the Rio Grande to come here?


Top 500 has published a list of the top 500 supercomputers in the world. The US holding 1 through 8, and Europe 9 and 10. Of the top 50, the US has 30 systems.

Just for starters.

"Ahmadinejad Should Be Killed"

From the Telegraph:

"Ahmadinejad should be killed," chanted some of the protesters, who were denounced as "vandals" by state radio. Iran possesses the second-largest oil reserves in the world and produces 4.3 million barrels a day.

Couldn't happen to a nicer firebrand nationalist who is seeking nuclear weapons.
More from Gateway Pundit.
PJM has video.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Purple Hearts In Excess

This post by Instapundit blew me away:

SOME PERSPECTIVE: I was reading some stuff on the plans for invading Japan at the end of World War II when I ran across this:

Nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals were manufactured in anticipation of the casualties resulting from the invasion of Japan. To the present date, all the American military casualties of the sixty years following the end of World War II — including the Korean and Vietnam Wars — have not exceeded that number. In 2003, there were still 120,000 of these Purple Heart medals in stock. There are so many in surplus that combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan are able to keep Purple Hearts on-hand for immediate award to wounded soldiers on the field.

And at current rates we'll still be using them for decades. My grandfather fought all across Europe, then got shipped to the Pacific in preparation for invading Japan. He was extremely happy that the war ended without that being necessary.

As devastating the losses we suffered during World War II, how much worse it could have been.

Update: The plot thickens - Wikipedia:

See also: Orders of battle for Downfall

Olympic was to be mounted with resources already present in the Pacific, including the British Pacific Fleet, a Commonwealth formation that included at least a dozen aircraft carriers and several battleships. The Australian First Tactical Air Force took part in the Philippines campaign (1944-45)

These would likely have augmented U.S. close air support units over Japan. The only major re-deployment for Olympic was Tiger Force, a Commonwealth long range heavy bomber unit, made up of more than 20 squadrons, scheduled to betransferred from RAF Bomber Command in Europe to airbases on Okinawa.

If reinforcements had been needed for Olympic, they could have been provided from forces being assembled for Coronet, which would have needed the redeployment of substantial Allied forces from Europe, South Asia, Australasia, and elsewhere. These would have included the U.S. First Army (15 divisions) and the Eighth Air Force, which were in Europe. The redeployment was complicated by the simultaneous partial demobilization of the U.S. Army, which drastically reduced the divisions' combat effectiveness, by stripping them of their most experienced officers and men.

My grandfather belonged to the 9th Division of the U.S. First Army. After fighting across North Africa, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, it is very likely his feet would have landed on the shores of mainland Japan in what undoubtedly would have been one of the bloodiest battles in American history.

VDH: Truth To Power

Victor Davis Hanson unloads:

What is lost, then, in the present pre-election hysteria and the repositioning on Iraq, is that there were never any good American choices in the Middle East. The present ones in Iraq and Afghanistan came about only from 9/11 and a general consensus that the failures of the past had led to that mass murder — and thus a new course of action was needed to replace both the liberal appeasement and conservative realism that had worked in the interest of bin Ladenism.

Legitimate debate is necessary about the mistakes in Iraq, as it is about the blunders of every war. But before writing off Iraq as lost, unnecessary, or a result of some such conspiracy, we had better ask ourselves whether a return to the sermonizing of Carterism or Clintonian diplomacy by focus group and straw polls — or even cynical horse-trading of Jim Baker — is what we really want.

And he poses a tough question:
So here are questions to ponder as reactionaries yearn for a pre-Bush past. Imagine: One of the various foiled terrorist plots — a Fort Dix slaughter, a JFK airport attack, or the suicide teams ABC news claims are headed our way from Afghanistan — succeeds after 2008. Thousands of Americans die.

What does President Clinton or Obama do? Draft a tough federal indictment? Ask for a U.N. resolution condemning such violence? Count on a unified response with NATO, battle-seasoned after its heroic offensives in Afghanistan? Hope for help from the EU rapid-response force? Bomb the source where the jihadists trained (Gaza?, Pakistan? Syria? Iran?) — but only from 30,000 feet, and, as in 1998, without U.N. or congressional approval? Work with the Saudis and Egyptians and Mr. Abbas to curb such atypical zealots? Have John Edwards trot the globe to use his courtroom flair to win over allies?

The grass is always greener on the other side. It's far easier to criticize than offer a viable alternative. What would a Harry Reid foreign policy look like? A neutered American military, and State Department with even less assertiveness, no doubt.

Carter In Bed With Zarqawi

Gateway Pundit draws the parallel: Al Qaeda #2 Al-Zawahri Joins With Jimmy Carter on Hamas

On June 19, 2007 in Dublin, Ireland Jimmy Carter pledged his support to Hamas and against the US and Israel


On June 25, 2007, Al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda's second in command, joined Carter today in pledging his support for Hamas extremists.

I can just imagine Zawahiri now, imitating Hannibal from A-Team, while rubbing his leather-gloved hands together menacingly: "I love it when a plan comes together."

Zawahiri's "A"-l Qaeda Team. Once again, Allah laughs at us.

The Free Speech Exception

When has it been permissible to ban free expression in this country?

Answer: In cases when the offending comments are perhaps in bad taste, but hopelessly innocuous.

Michael Moore can slander our health care system, Harry Reid can give moral comfort to al Qaeda, and liberal bloggers can claim Bush is worse than Hitler and Stalin, yet a high school student cannot make a controversial remark about marijuana.


The Fate Of Six Year Old Children Under The Taliban

Gateway Pundit: Taliban Tells 6-Year-Old His Suicide Belt Will Spray Flowers

Isn't that sweet?

Only one problem:

The story of Juma Gul, who says he thwarted an effort by Taliban militants to trick him into carrying out a suicide bombing against U.S. troops provoked tears and anger at a weekend meeting of tribal leaders.


LGF has more.

And in case one thinks this latest horror is a fluke, Hot Air reminds us:
If you haven’t seen them before and have a strong stomach, Rusty Shackleford has stills from the video of the 12-year-old Talib beheading an accused American spy.

An Effigy For An Effigy

It seems Muslims are getting a bit of a taste of their own medicine. Gateway Pundit noted the audacious move by the Danes, who recently burned a picture of Mohammed in effigy.

I don't get the whole "burning things in effigy," for whatever reason. It seems as much an act of self-promotion and anarchy as flag-burning... not that it should be outlawed.

After all, if we could only settle all disputes in such a manner. Rather than an eye for an eye, our cultures could trade an effigy for an effigy.

The New York Times Might Be Trying To Kill You

In the Sunday Times' travel section, Seth Sherwood writes of The Road Back to Damascus:

Even though Syria is "accused" of financing terrorists...

Though most Americans might be wary of sojourning in a country whose authoritarian government stands accused of some serious charges — financing Hezbollah, allowing foreign fighters into neighboring Iraq and assassinating the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri — a week among the regular citizens of Syria and its cultural riches is eye-opening.

There's a Four Seasons, how bad can it be?

The country I discovered, in addition to being friendly and largely free of crime and related hassles, even showed glimmers of creaking open to the West after decades of closure. Under its London-educated, 41-year-old president, Bashar al-Assad, Syria has instituted private banking, removed a number of long-standing import barriers and passed measures allowing foreigners to own property. A Four Seasons hotel opened in Damascus with great fanfare in 2005; a five-star Inter-Continental is under construction.

Finally, quoting a Syrian, Sherwood tells you all you need to know to decide on booking a travel ticket (despite the Baath party operatives, al Qaeda figures, repression, and proximity to Iran and Syria):
“Damascus is becoming a cool place”

Done deal, I better check Orbitz...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Welcome To Iran

The Blogosphere has done an excellent job rounding up news of the Iranian crackdown. Far better, in fact, than the meager effort by the mainstream media.

Nowhere else have I seen pictures of the nefarious deeds by the government, save for the Blogs.

Captain's Quarters Blog gives a roundup. Michell Malkin adds to that Roundup. Gateway Pundit adds plenty of links and graphic pictures, many from Iran focus.

This should make anyone sad. This should enrage every citizen of a liberal democracy. This should prompt massive street protests and shows of support. But it's tough when liberal-leaning Blogs, for example, spend time worrying about the possibility of the deployment of U.S. special ops on American soil. Surely there are far greater dangers to consider, such as Iran's funding of Hamas.

Arrowhead Ripper Update

Michael Yon: "...the battle is going very well. A big fight seems to be brewing. As of about noon in Baqubah on the 22nd, there seems to be a lull in the fighting. A calm. This is about to get wet. At the going rate, al Qaeda in Baqubah will soon have two choices: Surrender, or die."

Who Fears Israel?

The adroit Michael Totten:

The fact that Arab governments threaten to build nuclear arsenals to counter Iran’s, but not Israel’s, all by itself tells you who and what they’re really afraid of. Blowback isn’t just for Americans anymore.

It's the simple truth.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Navy Seal Training Photos

Some great photos from showing the rigors of Navy Seal training:

The instructors demand that the logs be carried up steep sand dunes or held aloft for extended periods until the student’s muscles begin to fail. Then, they head to the water for even more training. Hans Halberstadt/

Phase II students spend many hours in the pool where the water is clearer than the ocean but not much warmer. Before learning any of the skills of a combat swimmer or diver, each must learn to be comfortable and safe in the water, even with his hands tied behind him. Hans Halberstadt/

Combat swimmers set up a defensive security perimeter as they come ashore, listening for approaching vehicles and watching for beach patrols. When it seems safe to proceed, each man slips the heel straps of his fins over his arm where they are out of the way but easily accessible if a hasty exit is required. Once across the beach, the fins will be secured on the swimmer’s back using a snap-link. Hans Halberstadt/

Bad ass.

Now That Was A Soldier

And a hell of a patriot.

General Patton from Horsefeathers:

"Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American."

The General paused and looked over the crowd. "You are not all going to die," he said slowly. "Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood. Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base. Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they ARE He Men. Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen."

No politics, no sophistry, no dissembling, no argument.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

A New SR-71

Strategy Page Reports:

Son of SR-71 On The Way

June 14, 2007: A not-so-secret top secret contract has been issued by the U.S. Air Force for work on a replacement for the SR-71 high-altitude, supersonic reconnaissance aircraft. The new aircraft, informally referred to as the SR-72, will apparently be unmanned, and use new high-altitude jet engines that the air force has been working on for some time.

The SR-72 is supposed to be capable of twice the range, and greater speed than the SR-71, and at an altitude of 100,000 feet or higher. A high-speed, high-altitude UAV like that would be a good replacement for spy satellites lost to anti-satellite weapons. Actually, the SR-71 could carry missiles (which the U.S. has already developed) than can knock down satellites in low earth orbit (as are most spy satellites.)

Iraq Offensive in Full Swing

An update from Bill Roggio on the offensive by Coalition Forces in Iraq...

Operation Arrowhead Ripper thus far:

"At least 41 insurgents have been killed, five weapons caches have been discovered, 25 improvised explosive devices have been destroyed and five booby-trapped houses have been discovered and destroyed," Multinational Forces Iraq reported last evening.

The 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division (3/2) appears to be shouldering the brunt of the combat. The soldiers from the 3/2 "killed 24-36 enemy fighters and detained nine," according to Mike Gilbert of the News Tribune. "They found and destroyed 16 other roadside bombs, four houses that had been rigged to explode, and two car bombs. They found two safe houses, destroyed what he described as a mobile weapons cache, and captured two other weapons caches, including 'a significant IED cache.'"

Operations Marne Torch and Commando Eagle
"To date, Marne Torch and Iraqi army units have detained more than five dozen suspected extremists and destroyed more than 17 boats on the Tigris River that are responsible for transporting accelerants into Baghdad," Multinational Forces Iraq reported in a press release. "U.S. forces killed five insurgents, discovered and destroyed 12 improvised explosive devices, and detained 13 wanted individuals."

And in and around Anbar...
Fallujah is expected to be fully secured by August. U.S. forces expect to clear Karma, the poisonous al Qaeda haven northeast of Fallujah, and the Thar Thar region by July. "We're going to clear Karma here very shortly," Brig Gen Allen told the Associated Press, as he described the town as a "way station" to and from Baghdad. "We're going to start churning up the ground north on the grounds of Thar Thar ... a spot where we haven't had forces before."

What about Sadr?
Iraqi Special Forces raided Sadr City and captured a “key insurgent leader” on June 20, along with two associates. “This individual is allegedly responsible for coordinating and conducting kidnappings, death squad killings and improvised explosive device attacks against innocent civilians and Iraqi and Coalition Forces,” noted Multinational Forces Iraq.

Pat Dollard has more.

But as Hot Air writes, despite all the evidence that we are making progress in this offensive, the vast majority of the media is only concerned with the US body count.

The Tactical Utility of Playing Cards

From Metro UK News:

First they were given packs of playing cards showing Saddam Hussein and his most-wanted henchmen.

Now US troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been issued with another deck showing important archaeological sites – so they do not destroy them.

Safety first...
The 40,000 packs of cards are designed to keep sites such as the Ctesiphon Arch, a ruin in Iraq from the ancient city of Mesopotamia, safe.

Let's hope it works, but what to do if a band of terrorists run into the Nabi Yunis Mosque, and proceed to use it as a forward operating base?

I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

How To Improve Low Approval Ratings In Congress

With Congressional approval ratings at historic lows, and even Senator Harry Reid's approval ratings well below the President's, Think Progress, that bastion of progressive thinking, has a novel idea:

Reopen the investigation of Abu Ghraib

That's just what the country needs or wants right now.

I have a suggestion... first, let Congress pass a budget on time, or cut billions of dollars in pork from the legislation it manages to pass, finish its time-consuming investigations into the Gonzales affair, and the Plame affair, and then pass a comprehensive immigration bill without loopholes for illegals that actually puts security first.

Then, once Congress gets all those things accomplished, maybe they should be allowed to re-open a case the American public has already gotten over, of which no viable justification can be made to unearth, other than political intrigue and benefit for Democrats.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rosie Has A Video Blog


Edwards Blog: Don't Attack Iran

We Should Not Attack Iran

The rationale? It would be too hard:

Iran has spent more than a decade upgrading its military defensive capability by purchasing sophisticated weapons from Russia, China, North Korea, and others and it has developed an advanced indigenous manufacturing capability that can keep them supplied with arms and armament for a long time. Don't be fooled into believing that this is farm implement based technology and that it is no match for our high tech systems. Technology such as a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system that was sold by the Loral Corporation to the Peoples Republic of China and approved for export under the Clinton administration greatly enhances existing missile targeting and acquisition systems that may someday be used against our military. The gap in technology has not necessarily narrowed but the inevitable proliferation of older technology has made a difference for precision weapons and command and control systems.

And about those nuclear ambitions?
A separate large infrastructure would be required to produce even small amounts of special nuclear materials clandestinely because material balance sheets must be meticulously maintained for Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty compliance making it virtually impossible to divert high enrichment materials from the end of the cascade process. Special nuclear materials are highly enriched amounts of fissionable materials like uranium in this case and plutonium that are used in weapons. Even at ninety nine percent enrichment, one percent contains radioisotope contaminants with detectable concentrations that can be calculated and referenced to material balance sheets giving the material a distinctive signature.

Besides, it would only be a "dirty weapon" they could make:
Anything the Iranians could possibly put together in the next ten years would be lower enrichment and would be considered a dirty weapon.

The writer is undoubtedly an admirer of the Father of the Iranian Revolution.
The truth is the entire nightmare can be traced back to the liberal democratic policies of the leftist Jimmy Carter, who created a firestorm that destabilized our greatest ally in the Muslim world, the shah of Iran, in favor of a religious fanatic, the ayatollah Khomeini.

Not to mention that Iran is presently fomenting a Palestinian Rift, in which Carter also defends Hamas' actions.

In the case of this Edwards blog... the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

How Can Victory Be Achieved In Iraq?

A redefinition of the Iraq war from Strategy Page:

The real war is within the Iraqi government. The terrorists lost two years ago, when the relentless slaughter of Moslem civilians turned the Arab world against al Qaeda. Journalists missed that one, but not the historians. The war in Iraq has always been about Arabs demonstrating that they can run a clean government, for the benefit of all the people, not just the tyrants on top. So far, there have lots of victories and defeats in this, and no clear decision overall. Elections have been held several times, but the people elected have proved to be as corrupt and venal as their tyrannical predecessors. Everyone admits that this bad behavior is not a good thing, but attempts to stop it have been only partially successful. Changing thousands of years of custom and tradition is not easy. The clay tablets dug up in the vicinity of Baghdad, reveal similar scandal and despair over four thousand years ago. Most Iraqis realize, however, that if the chain of corruption is not broken, the dreary past will again become a painful present.

This may seem like an oversimplification to some, but it has the ring of t ruth. If the government achieves some degree of normalcy, and can be percieved to be acting in the benefit of all Iraqis, enough to quell sectarian complaints within the Parliament, democracy may have finally come to Iraq.

The Evil Zionists At It Again

Israeli Army to Let Sick Gazans Enter

EREZ CROSSING, Gaza Strip (AP) - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the army on Wednesday to allow into Israel any of the hundreds of Gazans holed up at a fetid crossing who might desperately need medical treatment.

David Pryce-Jones also discusses Israel's magnanimity, and its reception of displaced Palestinians from this recent civil war. Now that's turning the other cheek. Given the countless attacks on Israel's existence by its Arab enemies, the Palestinians included, as Pat Dollard put it, There Would Have Been No Israel.

Heck, the Soviets even ran from the Israelis.

Yet, the media still can't get the history right. I'm not even a Jew, and it bothers me.

As Operation Entebbe proved, Israel will act to defend its country, and even a relatively small number of its citizens if provoked. And it will win.

Despite this recent act of graciousness on the part of the Israelis, the terrorist elements will not learn this lesson.

Congress at 14% Approval Rating


This is not what the Democrats had in mind: after five months in control of Congress, they have driven the institution's approval rating down to the lowest point evermeasured by Gallup: only 14% of respondents expressed "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress.

That's much lower than the President.

The European Media Is Biased?!

You don't say!

Gateway Pundit has the video: The first step to recovery is admitting there is a problem...

"Polls clearly show that Europeans have turned against America in increasing numbers. You can blame Iraq, or George Bush, but it's also true that Europeans have been fed a steady diet of media distortions about America for years... and if you repeat a distortion long enough, it can become a reality."

The JFK Assassination vs. 9/11

Well, he does not mince words:

JAMES PIERESON: Kennedy’s assassination, happening the way it did,compromised the central assumptions of American liberalism that had been the governing philosophy of the nation since the time of the New Deal. It did this in two decisive ways: first, by compromising the faith of liberals in the future; second, by undermining their confidence in the nation. Kennedy’s assassination suggested that history is not in fact a benign process of progress and advancement, but perhaps something quite different. The thought that the nation itself was responsible for Kennedy’s death suggested that the United States, far from being a “city on a hill” and an example for mankind, as Kennedy had described it (quoting John Winthrop), was in fact something darker and more sinister in its deepest nature.


MILLER: Isn’t it a little early to say that 11/22/63 mattered more than 9/11/01?

PIERESON: No. We know from looking back over the decades that Kennedy’s sudden death cast a long shadow over American life, which I have tried to describe. Many of us thought that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 would also have great consequences for the way Americans looked at politics, the parties, and national security. In particular, some felt that the attacks might drive out of our politics the tone of anti-Americanism that had been a key feature of the American Left from the 1960s forward. That did not really happen. The liberal movement today remains far more the product of the 1960s than of the terrorist attacks and their aftermath. Indeed, the terrorist attacks now seem to have had very little effect on the thinking of American liberals who view the war on terror and the war in Iraq through the lenses of the Vietnam War. That is not true of conservatives. In that sense, the terrorist attacks have simply deepened the divide between liberals and conservatives. What is surprising, then, is what little enduring effect the terrorist attacks have had, particularly for liberals.

Michael Yon: On The Eve Of A Great Battle...

Some choice words from the indefatigable Michael Yon's most recent post, on the state of al Qaeda:

Today Al Qaeda (AQ) is strong, but their welcome is tenuous in some regions as many Iraqis grow weary enough of the violence that trails them to forcibly evict AQ from some areas they’d begun to feel at home in. Meanwhile, our military, having adapted from eager fire-starting to more measured firefighting, after coming in so ham-fisted early on, has found agility in the new face of this war. Not lost on the locals was the fact that the Coalition wasn’t alone in failing to keep the faith of its promises to Iraqis.

Whereas we failed with the restoration of services and government, AQ has raped too many women and boys in Anbar Province, and cut-off too many heads everywhere else for anyone here to believe their claims of moral superiority. And they don’t even try to get the power going or keep the markets open or build schools, playgrounds and clinics for the children. In addition to destroying all of these resources, and murdering the Iraqis who work at or patronize them, AQ attacks people in mosques and churches, too. Thus, to those listening into the wind, an otherwise imperceptible tang in the atmosphere signals the time for change is at hand.

And on the present offensive recently launched by coalition forces:
The enemy will try to herd us into their traps, and likely many of us will be killed before it ends. Already, they have been blowing up bridges, apparently to restrict our movements. Entire buildings are rigged with explosives. They have rockets, mortars, and bombs hidden in places they know we are likely to cross, or places we might seek cover. They will use human shields and force people to drive bombs at us. They will use cameras and make it look like we are ravaging the city and that they are defeating us. By the time you read this, we will be inside Baquba, and we will be killing them. No secrets are spilling here.

Our jets will drop bombs and we will use rockets. Helicopters will cover us, and medevac our wounded and killed. By the time you read this, our artillery will be firing, and our tanks moving in. And Humvees. And Strykers. And other vehicles. Our people will capture key terrain and cutoff escape routes. The idea this time is not to chase al Qaeda out, but to trap and kill them head-on, or in ambushes, or while they sleep. When they are wounded, they will be unable to go to hospitals without being captured, and so their wounds will fester and they will die painfully sometimes. It will be horrible for al Qaeda. Horror and terrorism is what they sow, and tonight they will reap their harvest. They will get no rest. They can only fight and die, or run and try to get away. Nobody is asking for surrender, but if they surrender, they will be taken.

We will go in on foot and fight from house to house if needed. We will shoot rockets into their hiding spaces, and our snipers will shoot them in their heads and chests. This is where all that talk of cancer and big ideas of what should be or could be done will smash head on against the searing reality of combat.

These words flow on the eve of a great battle, but are on hold until the attack is well underway. Nothing is certain. I am here and have been all year. We are in trouble, but we have a great General. The only one, I have long believed, who can lead the way out of this morass. Iraq is not hopeless. Iraq can stand again but first it must cast off these demons. And some of the demons must be killed.

You can't read this and not have even a glimmer of hope... unless you're Harry Reid.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Iran's Sycophants Getting Slammed

Raids target Iranian aid to insurgents in Iraq


Meanwhile, The Brits Are Also Conducting A Major Assault On Iran’s Forces:

The battle between the Brits and IA and Iranian terror groups including large elements of the Mahdi Army, was just the opening salvo in a large ongoing operation to hammer Iran’s terror offensive in Southern Iraq, particularly along the Iraq/Iran border.

All of the above only heightens the absurdity of Mohammed ElBaradei's remarks that it would be "an act of madness" to attack Iran. WE'RE ALREADY AT WAR WITH IRAN.

The Media Presents What It Wants

To the media, it's a numbers game... but only their numbers.

It's all over the news: Truck Bombing Kills Scores at Shiite Mosque in Baghdad

But why not this?

Breaking: 136 Casualties As Brits Battle Shiite Militia

I just can't figure it out...

Hamastan Roundup

Pat Dollard again has the best photo. How does he do that? Chilling... reminds me of the scene in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, in which Saruman walks out onto his perch at Orthanc to a horde of Orcs.

Gateway Pundit is one of the few reporting on the fate of Christians in Gaza:

Gaza Christians Warned: Accept Islamic Law- Women Must Be Covered

LGF shows pictures of Palestinians fleeing Hamas... to Israel, while Gateway Pundit has an... interesting slideshow.

Finally, the New York Times has a piece Comparing the Two Territories (Gaza and the West Bank)

A Detailed Analysis Of The Final Sopranos

The most convincing I've seen yet:

Tony Soprano didn’t just get whacked; he practically got a funeral

But, eh... who knows?

Haditha Marines To Be Cleared

Gateway Pundit has the coverage:

Murtha About To Get Pummeled By the Haditha Truth

The family of U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt says their son will be cleared.


Although the media continues to report that 24 innocent civilians were killed that day, the S2’s testimony shows that eight of the dead, including four of the five occupants in the white car killed by Wuterich, were known insurgents...

Update: More information about the weakness of the case againt the Marines from Armillary Observations.

No More Oil For War

As the New York Times reports, the Air Force Hopes to Cut Oil’s Role in Fuel:

The United States Air Force has decided to push development of a new type of fuel to power its bombers and fighters, mixing conventional jet fuel with fuels from nonpetroleum sources that could eventually limit military dependence on imported oil.

This is a brilliant idea... that should have been set into motion thirty years go.

Nonetheless, this is good news. (Courtesy, Instapundit)

Bloomberg Quits... the Republican Party

Well, he did it when he ran for Mayor in 2001 to the Democrats, and now he's done it to the Republicans: Mayor Bloomberg Quits the G.O.P.

“I have filed papers with the New York City Board of Elections to change my status as a voter and register as unaffiliated with any political party,” he said in a statement issued while he was in California delivering political speeches. “Although my plans for the future haven t changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city.” The full text of his announcement is on the new City Room blog.

Although Bloomberg's announcement is newsworthy, it should hardly be a surprise given the way he has governed, and the hints he has dropped regarding his distaste for partisan politics.

I give him credit for his audacity, and for sticking to his principles... even if there is some measure of political calculation (2008 Presidential Election) involved.

A Peaceful Religion in D Minor

A British Orchestral performance by Sir John Tavener is set to debut. It is titled The Beautiful Names, based on the 99 names of Allah (Yes, really). The BBC writes:

The Beautiful Names sets the 99 names for Allah as culled from the Qu’ran, sung in Arabic. ‘Inspiration for the piece came to me as a vision,’ says Tavener, ‘and the music just came to me immediately I saw the Arabic word’.

The programming guide has more:
The Divine names fall into two categories, those of majesty and those of mercy. Each set of 11 Names are separated by outbursts of the Supreme Name.

During the radio interview I heard this morning on the BBC World Service, Tavener blithely mentioned the "bad name" given to Islam.

Apparently, Tavener has been too busy artfully stringing together "Allah the majestic" and "Allah the merciful" in Arabic to percussion and wood instruments to have been paying much attention to the news. If he had, he would have read the reports of a recent spike in Honor Killings in Britain, or the present call for Sir Salman Rushdie's death by Muslims, and their burning of the Queen in effigy.

I can only wonder if Tavener included poetic Arabic translations of dhimmi and infidel in his epic score.

Merciful? Ask the Jews about merciful Islam. Ask Iraqis. Ask Indians. Heck, ask Palestinians about the present streak of mercy doled out by the 'Party of God.'

Like Rome, this is how nations crumble from within.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tiger... Shark?

Odin, a five-year old white Bengal tiger, dives into the water for a piece of meat during a show at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif. (Getty Images)

Defining The Fog Of War On Terrorism

Courting The Enemy

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled on Monday that Ali Saleh Kalah al-Marri — an alien al Qaeda operative from Qatar, sent to the United States the day before 9/11 to conduct follow-up attacks and explore the potential for electronic disruptions of our reeling nation’s financial system — may not lawfully be detained as an enemy combatant in the war on terror.

According to the court, we have two options: Release al-Marri and thus enable him to rejoin the jihad; or try him in the civilian criminal-justice system, where he’d be entitled to — and able to share with his confederates — the fruits of discovery from U.S. intelligence files detailing the enemy’s capabilities and plans.

The United States is not at war with the uniformed army of a sovereign nation like Germany or Japan. But we are still at war — with a transnational terror network, whose jihadist operatives are often, but not always, abetted by enemy nations.

I could not agree more with this analysis. While terrorists foreign and domestic are actively planning to launch attacks on the United States at home and abroad, we are stuck in legal battles over the legalities of how an alleged, or often admitted al Qaeda operative should be prosecuted.

Civil Liberties groups, such as the ACLU, have lead the charge in these matters. Although I do not doubt their sincere beliefs, or their desire to protect American freedoms, they have simply gone too far.

This can be seen in any number of cases, most recently the ACLU brief filed on behalf of terrorists seized by the CIA. If one steps back and thinks about this, one can only marvel at the dumb luck the terrorists must feel; witnessing an American group of lawyers prosecute the American government and American companies for helping defend us from terror. For these reasons I wrote Allah Laughs At Us.

Allah may be laughing, but I cringe.

Oxygen As Fuel

Scientists launch scramjet in Australian Outback

Australian and US scientists successfully launched a supersonic scramjet engine at an Outback test range Friday, as they work on a device that could revolutionise air travel.

The researchers said a rocket carrying the scramjet reached speeds of mach 10 -- ten times the speed of sound -- after blasting off at the Woomera range in South Australia Friday.

What is a scramjet?
Scramjets are supersonic combustion engines that use oxygen from the atmosphere for fuel, making them lighter and faster than fuel carrying rockets.

Scientists hope that one day a scramjet aircraft fired into space could cut travelling time from Sydney to London to as little as two hours.

Impressive. It would probably cut traveling costs as well, if the fuel used by the jets come free out of thin air. (Courtesy, Instapundit)

A New Weapon Against IED's

The Navy will be taking a new approach to defending our troops on the ground in Iraq:

ABOARD THE USS NIMITZ IN THE GULF - A secret aircraft that debuted inVietnam and usually protects U.S. fighter jets is getting a new type of task over Iraq - trying to stop the scourge of roadside bombs by jamming ground signals from mobile phones and garage door openers.

The EA-6B Prowler. How does it work?

The aircraft debuted at the tail end of Vietnam and was used in Kosovo and the 1991 Gulf War, escorting U.S. attack jets while jamming hostile radars, air defense batteries and military radios aimed at them.

These days the Prowler focuses its jammers on smaller signals: those of mobile phones and garage door openers that are used to trigger roadside bombs in Iraq, said U.S. Navy Capt. David Woods, 49, of Ogden, Utah.

If this proves effective, the military may have an entirely new strategy to combat roadside bombs, however unlikely it may sound... from the air.

Dragon Skin Controversy Continues

Dragon Skin Backers Hammered on Hill, according to

In testimony submitted to the House Armed Services Committee during a June 6 hearing in the issue, Coyle stated Dragon Skin - manufactured by Fresno, Calif.-based Pinnacle Armor - was "better … against multiple rounds and in reducing blunt force trauma" than the Army's current rifle-resistant Interceptor armor.

But after being confronted with conflicting information by lawmakers who questioned the NBC test results and provided Army-supplied data of vest failures from a May 2006 test, Coyle backed away from his staunch defense of Dragon Skin.

This hearing highlights one significant aspect of the present controversy over troop equipment and shortages. While Congressmen and women raise a stink about a lack of proper supplies to the troops, here at home we cannot even decide what to send over. The issue over body armor draws some parallels to the dispute over armored vehicles. Should existing humvee's be reinforced? If so, how many? Should newly developed MRAP's be sent as fast as we can make them? If so, which one's?

As I've pointed out before, many reports from the troops place most of the blame squarely on one thing: Bureaucratic red tape.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Word To The Wise

...from the wise:

In 1943 some US military personnel were stationed in Iraq. Here are pointers from that era. “Never discuss religion or politics or women with Moslems. … Keep away from mosques. If you try to enter one, you will be thrown out, probably with a severe beating. … Moslems here are divided into two factions something like our division into Catholic and Protestant denominations — so don’t put in your two cents when Iraqis argue about religion.”

Courtesy, PJM.

The Depths Of Base Journalism

A news anchor on Arab television gloats about the death of a Lebanese politican on the air, and then asks for more assassinations.

A Long, Hot Summer for Palestinians

It sounds like Hamas is having a grand old time:

At Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' captured seaside office in Gaza City, a gunman sat down at the Fatah leader's desk, picked up the phone and pretended to be calling Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "Hello, Rice?" the gunman said. "Herewe are in Abu Mazen's office. Say hello to Abu Mazen for me." Other gunmen rifled through Abbas' belongings in a bedroom behind the office, lifting up a mattress and searching through drawers.

Let's see how they can administer the peace. Right now, as Gateway Pundit notes, Violence & Instability Rule in Gaza and the West Bank as more murderous scenes play out on Arab television:
The execution of Fatah member Samih Al-Madhoun was shown on television.(Maan)Fatah members executed a Hamas member Anis As Sallous, in revenge for the assassination of the leading Fatah fighter, Samih Al Madhoun, by Hamas in Gaza.

Pat Dollard also points out some serious consequences for American intelligence services, if reports are true of the sensitive documents Hamas was able to pinch from Fatah Headquarters.

And in the Washington Post, Martin Indyk analyzes the "Two-State Solution" now in place in the West Bank and Gaza:
This turn of events would free Abbas to focus on the much more manageable West Bank, where he can depend on the Israel Defense Forces to suppress challenges fromHamas, and on Jordan and the United States to help rebuild his security forces. As chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and president of the PalestinianAuthority, Abbas is empowered to negotiate with Israel over the disposition of the West Bank. Once he controls the territory, he could make a peace deal with Israel that establishes a Palestinian state with provisional borders in the West Bank and the Arab suburbs of East Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza could compare their fate under Hamas's rule with the fate of their West Bank cousins under Abbas -- which might then force Hamas to come to terms with Israel, making it eventually possible to reunite Gaza and the West Bank as one political entity living in peace with the Jewish state. It's hard to believe that such a benign outcome could emerge from the growing Palestinian civil war. But given current events, this course is likely to become Abbas's best option.

This crisis in Gaza is also an incredible development on a number of levels. Most importantly, if a successful, relatively non-violent, and less extreme West Bank clearly rises above Hamas and can negotiate maturely with Israel, the implications in the region will be clear.
Update: Hamas bans masks for Gaza gunmen (Unless firing on Israelis)
Update: The Belmont Club gives continues to give ever more insightful views on the situation:
"One of the enduring word-pictures of the recent fighting in Gaza has been that of militants on both sides being forced to jump from high-rise buildings in a kind of 21st century version of walking the plank. If you were to recreate the scene in a movie the soundtrack of the militant falling to his doom would go: "but I'm not a JOOOoooooo". Thud. Funny, until you realize it is not stylized cartoon violence but a man being disabused of the last illusion. That anything but the ability to defend one's self makes a difference when confronted by evil."

Big American Hair

Big hair winner Tricia Nathan, of Grafton, Mass., salutes to the judges during the Imperia Vodka Hair Competition in Manchester, N.H., on Saturday, June 2. (Courtesy Yahoo Pictures)

The Iraqi Passport Photo

Smile for the nozzl- er, camera, and say "Praise Allah"

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Adding Insult To Your Own Injury

It isn't all too often that a politician will follow one mind-numbing political hack job after another in consecutive days, but that is exactly what Senator Harry Reid has pulled off.

If I was from Nevada, I would be ashamed...

Harry Reid called General Petraeus incompetent. It is now confirmed by FOX News.

Was this act maybe to divert attention from all the ethics and spending inquiries being conducted against the Democrats? Or perhaps the dubious abuse of free military air travel.

Iran Demands Its Hostages Released

Iran demands release of 5 detainees in Iraq
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran urged the United States to “immediately” release five Iranian consular officials arrested in January in the Iraqi city of Irbil, warning of unspecified consequences if it fails to do so.

I suppose that implicitly explains its custody of at least four Americans in Iran as a tit for tat.

Courtesy, The Buffalo News.

Update: The U.S. replies by arresting 3 more Iranian officials in Baghdad.

Federal Abuse of Power

This is not good...

Captain's Quarters Blog - FBI: Over A Thousand Violations On Comm Intercepts

A spot audit conducted by the FBI found more than a thousand violations of the laws and procedures governing the intercept of communications. These results point to a much bigger problem than initially reported last March, and the audit undermines the credibility of the nation's premiere law-enforcement agency at a time when national security remains the primary concern of many Americans.

If All 50 States Were 50 Countries

... What would their GDP look like?

More here at Strange Maps.

The Palestinian Civil War Continues

Instapundit makes a great point: "IF THE ISRAELIS HAD DONE THIS KIND OF THING IN GAZA, there would have been a worldwide outcry."

What kind of thing? This kind:

"They're firing at us, firing RPGs, firing mortars. We're not Jews," the brother of Jamal Abu Jediyan, a Fatah commander, pleaded during a live telephone conversation with a Palestinian radio station.

Minutes later both men were dragged into the streets and riddled with bullets.

At least one person inside the headquarters was killed and eight more were wounded. (NYT)

And other atrocities like this from Gateway Pundit:
Fatah fighters are dragged shirtless into the streets after surrendering in Gaza.Via Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV station - Conflict Blotter & Pajamas. According to reports, the captured Fatah members were executed in the streets.

Powerline makes a sad point, noting a Palestinian man's incredulity at the moment before his execution - given that he wasn't a Jew.

To its credit, the New York Times took note of the Israel offer of assistance:
Israel will do what it can, Mr. Olmert said in an interview, to “be helpful and supportive of the Palestinian people in every possible way, including economic cooperation and security cooperation.”

Captain's Quarters Blog dryly noted: Welcome to Hamastan

A Hamas fighter holds the Koran (NYT)

While The Belmont Club called it "The Two State Solution"

And unsurprisingly, amidst the chaos, Abbas has dissolved the Palestinian Authority.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Another Assassination in Lebanon

Gateway Pundit has the best coverage: BOOM! Another Anti-Syrian Politician Assassinated in Lebanon!

Pat Dollard has the most arresting picture: Breaking: Syria Kills 10 At Beirut Amusement Park In Attempt To Kill Anti-Syrian Lawmaker

PajamasMedia has more: Bombing Assassination on Beirut's Waterfront

And of course, CNN is tame: Lebanese lawmaker killed in Beirut blast

Democrats: Help is on the way, al Qaeda!

As Pat Dollard notes: Democrats today performed a "treasonous political maneuver."

Strictly as an odious gambit to gain some advantage in their upcoming July 4 anti-victory legislation, the Democrats mimic Al Qaeda and officially declare the surge, which is yet fully in place, a failure. By creating the impression of failure, their anti-victory measures may have some chance of passing, and will at least seem valid to the American public; this is essentially what this latest scumbaggery is about. Plus it is about pandering: George Soros and are clearly yanking the leash, in angry, desperate frustration. In short, the Dems advance their war against America. Face facts: We are in our own civil war.

What they said:
Top US congressional Democrats bluntly told President George W. Bush Wednesday that his Iraq troop “surge” policy was a failure.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi challenged the president over Iraq by sending him a letter, ahead of a White House meeting later on Wednesday.

This, as Dollard notes, despite that:
Only 4 of the 5 Surge brigades are in place - a stunning 69% of all IEDs have been defused since the Surge began, and Al Qaeda has lost control of the Anbar province, isolated in semi-hostile regions around Baghdad. Among many other advances. And what position will we be in regarding the Iran nuke/Afghanistan situations if we cut and run in Iraq?

And Think Progress rejoices.

Iran: How To Ruin An Economy

Daniel W. Drezner: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, if left to his own devices, will succeed in running the Iranian economy into the ground." (Courtesy, PJM)

However, the Iran's Parliament is just as capricious in its persecution of... porn stars?

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill that could lead to the death penalty for persons convicted of working in the production of pornographic movies.

With a 148-5 vote in favor and four abstentions, lawmakers present at the Wednesday session of the 290-seat parliament approved that "producers of pornographic works and main elements in their production are considered corrupter of the world and could be sentenced to punishment as corrupter of the world."

Don't they have anything better to do? Iran is already busy supplying weaponry to Iraqi insurgents and terrorists, and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

As an aside, I'd like to see a domestic rally here at home... a march on Washington, even - consisting of American porn stars in support of their Iranian peers.

Think of the headlines: "Silicon Valley marches on Washington," or "Deep throat comes to D.C."

Tasteless, I know...

Killing Themselves in Gaza

The New York Times seems to put it lightly: Hamas Seizes Broad Control in Gaza Strip:

JERUSALEM, June 13 — Hamas forces consolidated control over much of Gaza on Wednesday, taking command of the main north-south road and blowing up a Fatah headquarters in Khan Yunis, in the south.

Instapundit notes the mainstream media's reluctance to flat-out call it a Civil War.

Combined with the two stories below and the looming war between Israel and Syria, welcome to the Exploding Summer.

Yet, the best coverage comes from Gateway Pundit: Fatah Surrenders to Hamas in Gaza, with the hard facts of the killing up front:

At least 80 people are dead in two days of fighting.
Hundreds of Fatah members surrendered.
Hamas militants blew up a tunnel under a security headquarters in the Gaza Strip
on Wednesday killing 13 members of Abbas' preventive security service

It's days like today that I am especially impressed with the Blogosphere. Rather than the dry, thoughtless accounts of fighting between Hamas and Fath in The New York Times, leave it to the Blogs to call it like it is, filter out the spin, and transmit the hardboiled reality to the reader.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Third Party Time

Congress Hits 10-Year Low Popularity Rating but GOP Gets No Boost; Time for a New Party?

The need for a third party is long overdue...

Democrats without the foreign policy pusillanimity,

Republicans without the religion,

Both parties without the pork and corruption.

Courtesy Pajamas Media.

W.W. I: In Color

I don't know these are legit, but they are pretty impressive, if actually authentically colored and restored.

More here.

Gore Calls For War! 15 Years Ago!

It's that same, tired old inflammatory rhetoric... a vast terrorist threat, the use of chemical weapons, weapons of mass destruction, demanding the overthrow of a ruthless dictator... those craven neo-cons! But wait... no... that's not Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, or George W. Bush.

It's... Al Gore from 1992!

Gore Fearmongering... about Terrorism!

This is so damning... not simply for Gore's about face, but for the way it illustrates his political tactics - hyper-inflating issues when they are politically advantageous.

Courtesy, Hot Air.

Yet more Gore decrying Bush I's inaction when dealing with terrorist states:

Update: ThinkProgress and The Carpetbagger Report "set conservative bloggers straight" (i.e., apologize, explain away for Gore - and they do a poor job of it).

Monday, June 11, 2007

What did the CIA know, or think they knew?

The CIA, Iraq, and what they told the president.

I have no idea how much weight President Bush gave to these intelligence reports. Maybe, by January 2003, he had given up on getting any meaningful input from agencies that were far more interested in protecting their own images and budgets, and perhaps in undermining an administration that did not share their overwhelmingly liberal and Democratic orientation, than in going out on a limb to give the President their best judgment.

Happy When a Terrorist May Be Freed

Who is happy?

Think Progress, that's who: BREAKING: Bush Administration Loses Major Terror Detention Case.

And their readers?

There is hope after all!!

Hope... for who? Hope for all "oppressed" terrorists out there?

Who CAIR's?

Apparently, not many American Muslims do anymore: CAIR Lost 90% Of Its Membership

More from Powerline:

One can only speculate that CAIR subsists on private contributions from non-members or that its most significant support is at an undisclosed location or two
somewhere outside the United States.

We Are Arming Terrorists

It makes me uncomfortable that the is arming Sunni coalition to battle AQ … just as coalition starts to fracture.

CounterTerrorism Blog is skeptical:

This is a risky strategy that carries almost as many dangers as it does possibilities.

Furthermore, the terrorist apologists now have more talking points.

I'm wary of getting into bed with terrorists to kill other terrorists.

Getting the Whole Picture

Chris Muir on Green Zone journalism (and NPR)

Courtesy Matt Sanchez.

A Star Wars History Lesson

"They wish, in their lives, and after their lives, to destroy respect for human life. We... must restore that respect. We must in a great act of world justice, punish and trample upon this evil. I say that after having seen the worst horrors with my own eyes - because I have seen them with my own eyes."

World War II. Star Wars. Tanks. Bombs. Music. 'Nuff said.

Courtesy, The Belmont Club.

"A Vague, Translucent, Living Shade"

Dennis Miller on Harry Reid:

"You are a vague, translucent, living shade, who barely matters, and if you really want to serve the country that affords a trifle like you the opportunity to delude himself into thinking that he matters, you must never, ever speak out loud in public again."

Wow. The hairs are sticking up on the back of my neck.

In related Harry Reid news, the Nevada Senator also publicly disagreed with Senator Joseph Lieberman's comments about the possible need for U.S. action on Iran. Reid has also put himself at odds with a number of American military leaders, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Reid's line of thinking doesn't seem to be doing well for him, given his abysmal approval ratings, as Gateway Pundit noted.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

More Violence to Come

JD Johannes' Predictions:

If the Anbar Awakening works, AQIZ is in trouble and will be seen as losing not only the war against the U.S. but of losing support among their core constituency--Sunni Muslims.

Baghdad will be increasingly violent because if the surge shows even some signs of success, it will be extended and therefore deny victory to those who profit by chaos and a U.S. departure.

The best way for AQIZ and Jaysh al Mahdi puppet masters to derail the surge and the awakening is through spectacular violence--truck bombs, suicide vest bombs, suicide attacks on coalition bases and increasingly violent ways to carry out the sectarian murder campaigns.

The spectacular generates news media coverage and ratings points that drown out all other facts and progress leading public opinion to an ill informed conclusion--that the whole project should be abandoned because it cannot be won.

As the summer wears on expect more spectacular and more frequent