October 31, 2002
THE WELLSTONE MEMORIAL "DEBACLE" The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz asks "How badly can a political party screw up a memorial service?"
When a campaign manager (or anyone for that matter) is reduced to apologizing for a memorial service, the answer is "Very badly."
RIDDLE: What do you get when you cross the Democratic National Convention with Weekend at Bernie's? The Wellstone memorial service.
October 28, 2002
SPEAKING OF CARTER-CALIBER NUMBSKULLS: 26-year-old perfume-shop clerk Olga Romanova was so certain of her ability to persuade the heavily-armed Chechen terrorists holding 700-plus hostages in a Moscow theater to listen to reason that she eluded police barricades and presented the Chechens with her plea for peace. The Chechens did indeed listen to Olga. And then they killed her.
The New York Post quotes Olga's mother as saying that Olga "could be highly persuasive" because "she had this magic power of being able to convince anybody."
Obviously, Olga's magical powers were as weak as Aunt Clara's. "Dr. Bombay! Dr. Bombay! Olga's a dumbass, come right away!"
AMERICAN DIPLOMAT MURDERED: Laurence Foley, an American diplomat stationed in Jordan, was shot to death this morning in front of his home. A Jordanian security spokesman declared, "This attack, regardless of its motives and reasons, is an aggression on Jordan and its national security. We will not tolerate that at all.'' Given that Jordanian security personnel are cutthroat hardasses, I don't doubt the veracity of that statement.
So far there's been no claim of responsibility but it'd take a Jimmy Carter-caliber numbskull to assume the triggermen weren't Islamic terrorists. And it's very telling that the Jordanian spokesman characterized this murder as "an aggression on Jordan." Considering the target and the location -- an American diplomat in Jordan -- I think it's obvious that Foley's murder was the first of what may turn out to be a series of Iraqi-sponsored retaliations for Jordan's logistical cooperation with the U.S. military.
CARPETBAG HAG: There's something funny about a corrupt carpetbagger questioning the legitimacy of another officeholder's election.
October 23, 2002
OKC, WTC and SADDAM: In 1995 while Bill Clinton was busy parlaying tragedy into political capital by equating Republican leaders and conservative talk radio hosts with the likes of homicidal anarchists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, those for whom McVeigh and Nichols planted the bomb may have gotten away. Britain's Evening Standard reports that "senior aides to US Attorney-General John Ashcroft have been given compelling evidence that former Iraqi soldiers were directly involved in the 1995 bombing that killed 185 people." As a result, the "FBI is under pressure from the highest political levels in Washington to investigate suspected links between Iraq" and the OKC bombing.
The Standard's James Langton writes, "The methodically assembled dossier from Jayna Davis, a former investigative TV reporter, could destroy the official version that white supremacists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were solely responsible for what, at the time, was the worst act of terrorism on American soil. Instead, there are serious concerns that a group of Arab men with links to Iraqi intelligence, Palestinian extremists and possibly al Qaeda, used McVeigh and Nichols as front men to blow up the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City."
Jayna Davis' extensive investigation into the origins of the OKC bombing was the primary subject of Micah Morrison's Wall Street Journal column on September 5. In addition to detailing Davis' findings, Morrison examines evidence gathered by American Enterpise Institute scholar Dr. Laurie Mylroie to support her published claim that Iraq masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
In addition to implicating Iraq in the first WTC attack, Mylroie's The War Against America: Saddam Hussein and the World Trade Center Attacks: A Study of Revenge alleges that the Clinton administration, disregarding evidence to the contrary, adamantly refused to consider that the bombing was state-sponsored.
And, as Mylroie wrote in National Review last May, this led to more lethal attacks on the United States:
A decade ago major terrorist strikes on U.S. targets were considered to be state-sponsored. For all practical purposes, that meant Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Yet that is supposed to have changed with the first attack on the World Trade Center, in February 1993, one month into Bill Clinton's first term in office. The Clinton administration claimed that the bombing represented a new kind of terrorism that did not involve states.
The New York FBI office, however, strongly believed Iraq was behind the 1993 Trade Center attack. The Clinton White House did not want to hear that and FBI Headquarters accommodated the president — echo of the charge made by Coleen Rowley, Minneapolis FBI counsel and agent, of rampant careerism there. And thus was born the notion that major terrorist strikes against the U.S. were carried out by individuals, or "networks," without the support of states. The predictable happened. Terrorism continued. In fact, it grew far worse because the state sponsor of the terrorism was never properly identified and punished.
The investigative work of Jayna Davis and Laurie Mylroie has some high profile supporters, Micah Morrison notes, including former CIA director James Woolsey. Woolsey had this to say to the Journal: "When the full stories of these two incidents are finally told, those who permitted the investigations to stop short will owe big explanations to these two brave women. And the nation will owe them a debt of gratitude.'"
October 18, 2002
BEING "VERY FIRM ABOUT IT" Concerning the chilling prospect of North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons, President Bill Clinton insisted in 1993 that "North Korea cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear bomb. We have to be very firm about it."
And here's how Clinton implemented his "very firm" policy of preempting North Korea's quest for nukes. Newsmax reports:
A country designated by President Bush as part of the "axis of evil" received more foreign aid during President Clinton's two terms than any other country in the Asia-Pacific region, a congressional study concluded two years ago.
House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Christopher Cox, R-Calif., said the study conducted by his panel found that under the Clinton administration, North Korea became the "largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid in the Asia-Pacific region," according to the committee's report as quoted by CNSNews.com.
"In an astonishing reversal of nine previous U.S. administrations, the Clinton-Gore administration, in 1994, committed not only to provide foreign aid for North Korea, but to earmark that aid primarily for the construction of nuclear reactors worth up to $6 billion," the Cox Committee contended.
Wow. And that's Clinton's idea of being very firm? What would've happened had Clinton not been so firm.....hmmmm.....perhaps America's nuclear labs would have been left unlocked so enemy spies could steal our most vital defense secrets. Oh. Wait. That happened, too.
The Clinton administration's all-you-can-eat buffet of foreign policy and security blunders is so extensive and so damaging to America's interests that, at times, it's difficult not to wonder if Bill Clinton was really on our side.
SULLIVAN'S TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE: Andrew Sullivan resurrects several devastating quotes and editorials which expose the abject foolishness of the Clintonites and their lefty media chums in assessing the threat posed by North Korean nukes.
The most laughable remark excerpted is from Bill Clinton during an appearance on Meet the Press in November, 1993: "North Korea cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear bomb. We have to be very firm about it." Judging from subsequent events, Clinton apparently believed that the best way to keep North Korea from developing nuclear weapons was to give North Korea the means to develop nuclear weapons.
Be sure to read all the excerpts on Sullivan's site.
October 17, 2002
CLINTON'S RED LEGACY, CONTINUED: The latest lethal consequence of Bill Clinton's presidency . . .
Clinton left little doubt which end of the political spectrum he prefers when, in what ranks as one of the strangest moments in presidential history, he publicly offered condolences for the 1994 death of North Korea's monstrously brutal Stalinist dictator, Kim Il-Sung. Clinton punctuated his condolences in a dangerous fashion: he moved to implement a mindnumbingly bad agreement negotiated in 1994 by That Simpleton Jimmy Carter several weeks before Kim arrived at the gates of Hell. As [an August 8, 2002] New York Post editorial explains, the agreement provided that the U.S., South Korea and Japan "would build North Korea two modern 'light water' nuclear reactors" in exchange for Pyongyang halting its nuclear weapons program -- the idea being that a light water reactor would not yield weapons-grade plutonium. Of course, North Korea agreed to the deal. And, of course, North Korea didn't abide by the deal. "It was a bad deal then and it's a worse deal now," the Post writes. "North Korea has not frozen its weapons programs. And it turns out that the modern reactors -- whose construction is due to start this week -- will produce weapons-grade plutonium anyway."
Associated Press, 10/16/02
North Korea has told the United States it has a secret nuclear weapons program in violation of an agreement signed with the Clinton administration, a senior administration official said Wednesday night. North Korea also told U.S. diplomats it no longer beholden to the anti-nuclear agreement, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity. The disclosure, which stunned senior administration officials, is certain to chill U.S.-North Korean relations.
October 16, 2002
MILK FOR THE MASSES: British blogger Iain Murray links to a story in The Scotsman that warms the cockles of my heart.
When two PETA busybodies, one of whom was costumed as a cow, showed up at a Scottish grammar school to protest human consumption of milk, many of the pupils weren't impressed. While chanting "Milk for the masses," a contingent of about 100 students pelted the PETA goobs with milk. Lots and lots of milk. The police eventually rescued the lactose-laden protestors before they curdled.
One student, 16-year-old Alan Smith, observed, "This is a stupid idea. We should be encouraged to drink milk and I certainly won’t stop drinking milk just because a man has dressed up as a cow outside my school."
(Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for pointing out this gem on Murray's blog.)
October 15, 2002
DESPERATE TERRORISTS: Ralph Peters, author of Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World, writes in today's Wall Street Journal that the deadly Islamist attack in Bali is an indicator of the terrorists' desperation.
October 14, 2002
THE WAR ON IRA: The Onion "reports" on the tragic consequences of a seemingly harmless typographical error:
The U.S. Defense Department apologized to Skokie, IL, dentist Ira Nussbaum Tuesday following a bombing campaign aimed at removing the 37-year-old from power. "Apparently, the intelligence source who drafted the attack plan against Iraq failed to strike the 'Q' key hard enough," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said. "The 'Q' was always a little stubborn on that keyboard. Sorry." This marks the first military action taken against Nussbaum since a malfunctioning shift key prompted Ulster Unionists to detonate his Ford Taurus in 1998.
October 13, 2002
DOING MORE WITH LESS: SecDef Donald Rumsfeld has ordered the military to revise all war plans to incorporate the strategic and logistical advantages made possible by precision weapons and other technological innovations, reports Thom Shanker (what an unfortunate surname) and Eric Schmitt in today's New York Times. (via Drudge).
The new approach for how America goes to war, Mr. Rumsfeld said, reflects an assessment of the need after Sept. 11 to refresh war plans continuously and to respond faster to the threats from terrorists and nations possessing biological, chemical or nuclear weapons. Mr. Rumsfeld said too many of the military plans on the shelves of the regional war-fighting commanders were freighted with outdated assumptions and military requirements, which have changed with the advent of new weapons and doctrines.
"Looking at what was overwhelming force a decade or two decades ago, today you can have overwhelming force, conceivably, with lesser numbers because the lethality is equal to or greater than before," he said.
It has been a mistake, he added, to measure the quantity of forces required for a mission and "fail to look at lethality, where you end up with precision-guided munitions which can give you 10 times the lethality that a dumb weapon might, as an example."
Makes sense to me. Many bureaucrats — civilian and military — instinctively oppose the concept of doing more with less. But how can they plausibly disagree with Rumsfeld's contention that if one precision bomb does the work of 10 "dumb" bombs, then it requires fewer people and resources to implement the bombing?
So why this order at this time? Here's my guess . . .
Lessons from the liberation of Afghanistan surely played a part in Rumsfeld's decision. However, the timing of the order suggests that the covert reconnaissance phase of the war to liberate Iraq — which has been underway since last spring — is nearly complete. And the results of that recon effort have led Rumsfeld to order a new, more lean approach to phase two, the overt phase. In other words, widespread reports earlier this year that toppling Saddam would require a massive American invasion were off-the-mark.
The next phase of the war to liberate Iraq is about to begin. And it will be waged — and won — with fewer ground troops than were deployed in Desert Storm.
October 11, 2002
NOBEL WEENIES SIDE WITH SADDAM: The Norweigan Nobel Committee demonstrated its support of Saddam's regime by giving Jimmy "No Olympics for You!" Carter a Peace Prize for smooching the ass of nearly every enemy of the United States.
The NoBalls — oops — Nobels stated the reasons for Carter's award in a more fluffy fashion; they said he deserves the prize "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development." How Carter's record of brazenly seeking to appease and preserve the world's most tyrannical regimes translates into advancing democracy and human rights is a mystery.
In reality, the Nobels' intent was not to honor Carter but to criticize President Bush's Iraqi policy. They chose Carter for one reason: his high-profile opposition to President Bush's plans to defend America and the rest of the civilized world against Saddam Hussein. And the Nobel Committee even admits it! Gunnar Berge, the head doofus of the Nobel Committee, is quoted by Reuters as remarking that "with the position Carter has taken...(the award) can and must also be seen as criticism of the line the current U.S. administration has taken on Iraq." Reuters also reports that when "asked if the award might help dampen the chance of unilateral U.S. attacks on Iraq, Berge said: 'Hopefully, hopefully.'"
Berge's hopes are misplaced; a Nobel Prize affects U.S. foreign policy about as much as a Publishers Clearing House prize. Regardless, the Nobel Prize Patrol will soon arrive at Jimmy Carter's front door with a giant million-dollar novelty check as a reward for his efforts to lull Americans into forgetting that he was a shitty-beyond-belief president.
October 08, 2002
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "There can be no peace if our security depends on the will and whims of a ruthless and aggressive dictator. I'm not willing to stake one American life on trusting Saddam Hussein." — President Bush, in a major address delivered last evening at the Cincinnati Museum Center
In two sentences, the president decimated the specious reasoning of those demanding appeasement-disguised-as-negotiations as an alternative to toppling Saddam's regime.
LIFE IMITATES "SERIAL MOM" The New York Post confirms today that life is just a John Waters movie: "Actor Robert Blake's legal team disclosed yesterday it's using political campaign-style opinion polls to measure public sentiment toward their client, who's accused of murder."
October 07, 2002
THE NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY: Condoleeza Rice addressed a meeting of the Manhattan Institute last week and her speech was adapted into a column by the New York Post. The key excerpt:
President Bush's new National Security Strategy offers a bold vision for protecting our nation that captures today's new realities and opportunities.
It calls on America to use our position of unparalleled strength and influence to create a balance of power that favors freedom. As the president says in the cover letter: we seek to create the "conditions in which all nations and all societies can choose for themselves the rewards and challenges of political and economic liberty." This strategy has three pillars:
* We will defend the peace by opposing and preventing violence by terrorists and outlaw regimes.
* We will preserve the peace by fostering an era of good relations among the world's great powers.
* And we will extend the peace by seeking to extend the benefits of freedom and prosperity across the globe.
Defending our nation from its enemies is the first and fundamental commitment of the federal government. And as the world's most powerful nation, the United States has a special responsibility to help make the world more secure.
It's a pleasant surprise to see a senior member of the administration acknowledge that defense — rather than redistribution of income — is the federal government's primary duty. Now if only the federal budget would reflect that fact.
October 06, 2002
PARIS MAYOR ATTACKED: The Associated Press reports that the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, "was stabbed in the abdomen early Sunday during a concert at City Hall, but his injuries weren't life-threatening. It was the second attack on a French politician in three months." The 39-year-old attacker was caught shortly after the assassination attempt.
What the AP doesn't report is that France is expected to surrender to the assailant later today.
October 04, 2002
A GREAT AMERICAN TRADITION: The Wall Street Journal's Eric Gibson writes today that Bob Torricelli's jaw-droppingly arrogant announcement last Monday is a fine example of an exclusively American tradition: "the excruciating exit speech."
And always in such speeches there is the "Lear moment," the point where what the speaker is really feeling--usually a self-pitying sense of unearned injury--bursts forth and he begins flailing wildly against the forces larger than himself that have taken control of his destiny. ("When did we become such an unforgiving people?")
But it's not "King Lear," for all the efforts at high rhetoric. It's pure "Elmer Gantry," the charlatan posing as victim. That, at bottom, is what makes these speeches so irresistible. Are we really supposed to believe such nonsense? Who do these people think they are kidding?
October 03, 2002
AN INTERESTING CHRONOLOGY: Check out this chronology of headlines from UPI:
9/30/2002 10:40 AM Report: U.S. suspends Lebanon aid
10/1/2002 12:44 PM Lebanon arrests 3 al Qaida suspects
10/1/2002 1:12 PM U.S. approves $32 million aid to Lebanon
Since Syria-controlled Lebanon is a major base for Islamist mercenaries, these UPI reports may indicate something more than the power of a $32 million carrot-on-a-stick. Having seen the United States rout the Taliban and prepare to oust Saddam, perhaps Syria is begrudgingly heeding President Bush's ultimatum of June 24: "Syria must choose the right side in the war on terror by closing terrorist camps and expelling terrorist organizations."
Syria would do well to continue this course because that carrot is attached to a mighty big stick.
October 01, 2002
GOOD QUESTION: In a Washington Times op/ed, former Defense Department bigwig Jed Babbin relates a damn good question posed by a member of the British Parliament following Tony Blair's "Iraqi dossier" speech:
Tony Blair's speech to a special session of the British Parliament was met with support, catcalls and one very thoughtful statement. Barry Gardiner is a junior member of Parliament, but is someone worth watching. After Mr. Blair's speech, Mr. Gardiner rose to demand that those who believe military action would be justified if taken collectively — with U.N. sanction — explain why it is unjust if we — meaning America and the U.K. — take the same action unilaterally. Mr. Gardiner was booed by members of his own party. But his question should be asked over and over again in Congress, and in the U.N.
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