September 30, 2004
This is the first time that I've dozed off during a presidential debate. Perhaps I'm just getting older. Or, more likely, it was just that friggin' boring.
But I saw enough of it to render a few know-it-all-isms.
First, the prez ...
Most everyone knows where President Bush stands on foreign policy, the war on terror and his opponent's habitutal flip-flopping. Bush has so honed his foreign policy campaign message that some of us can probably repeat it from memory. This is good, actually. It sure doesn't make make for a lively debate, but I suspect most people tuned in to see Kerry try to energize his doomed-from-the-start campaign.
Advice for Bush: dispense with those trademark facial tics while Kerry speaks; it looks like you gotta drop a deuce bad.
Next, John Kerry...
Senator Kerry was actually more boring than Bush. Every answer Kerry gave seemed to boil down to a variation of this: "We can do better." What does that mean? How does he quantify "better?" The closest Kerry came to offering specifics was actually a huge blunder: he said he'd use preemptive strikes to defend America but in a way that passes a "global test," or words to that effect. (Translation: he would seek the blessings of the U.N. and French and German leftists before defending America.) If Kerry wants to defeat a wartime president, he has to offer voters something far more substantial than merely attacking Bush's foreign policy record with declarations that he can do better.
Advice for Kerry: learn how to pronounce "United States" and hire an attorney to secure your alimony because the Mrs. is going to dump your ass after you lose next month.
The Truth About Old Noodle Arm
Everyone's favorite Sith Lord links to yet another organization committed to exposing the real John Kerry. Be sure to check out Football Fans for Truth for revealing photographs of old Noodle Arm in action and disturbing facts such as:
Last month, John Kerry lauded "Lambert Field" during a visit to Wisconsin. He has yet to acknowledge Lambeau Field, the historic home of the Green Bay Packers.
John Kerry also praised the Ohio State Buckeyes football team--during a visit to Michigan.
No wonder Tom Brady's a Bush fan.
September 29, 2004
Has Joe Barton Heard Of The Constitution?
What happens when full-time legislators have a part-time workload? Drudge links to a Variety article that provides the answer:
In the wake of CBS News' "60 Minutes" controversy, an influential Republican on Tuesday said he wants to convene a Capitol Hill hearing on TV news operations after the Nov. 2 election.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), chair of the House Commerce Committee, told a meeting of the TV engineering trade group MSTV in Washington that broadcast network news divisions "need to have safeguards to prevent reporters from infusing their opinions into news reports."
The lawmaker said he wanted to hear from execs of all the nets -- not just CBS -- and threatened to introduce legislation requiring TV news operations to impose safeguards against partisan bias seeping into reports.
Clearly, Joe Barton has plenty of spare time. So he should stroll over to 700 Pennsylvania Ave, NW and have a look-see at the Constitution of the United States. Hopefully, this passage from Amendment 1 will catch his eye:
Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ...
The text is so clear and concise that Joe Barton is either (A) a simpleton or (B) an enemy of freedom.
If it's (A), someone should carefully explain to Barton (preferably via a puppet show) that reporters have the constitutional right to put "their opinions into news reports" even while falsely claiming objectivity, and Congress is explicitly forbidden from stopping them. Even if CBS News chooses to do everything in its power to get Kerry elected and skews its news coverage to that end, the Constitution prohibits Congress from doing anything about it.
And if it's (B), well, then Joe Barton should become a Democrat. After all, the party of slavery would surely embrace such a tyrannical mindset.
When it comes to Rathergate, the free market has beaten Barton to the punch. As CBS News' plunging ratings prove, television viewers are already exacting a price far more punitive than any unconstitutional congressional sanction Joe Barton can conjure up.
September 24, 2004
Know Thy Enemy
The Pentagon issued a press release lauding a new website from The Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.
The MIPT and its partners have compiled 35-years worth of data into the Terrorism Knowledge Base.
The TKB "illuminates the current status of terrorism today. It takes users through the history, affiliations, locations, and tactics of the terrorism entities operating across the world at this moment." Features include "interactive maps, biographies on key terrorist personalities, dynamic graphs, and succinct summaries on who is who and what is what inside the shadowy world of terrorism today."
Check it out and keep tabs on the bad guys.
"It's Alive! It's Alive!"
Playbill reports that a new stage musical entitled Frankenstein...do you dream opens today in New York.
Based on Mary Shelley's legendary novel, do you dream presents Victor Frankenstein's hideous creature in a terrifying new perspective.
The Bill Burkett Seizure Tally Board
"Burkett said he has had four seizures since being identified as CBS' source and being dogged by the media," reports the Star-Telegram.
September 22, 2004
Here Comes The Real Scandal
Though Dan Rather and CBS News refuse to admit that the obviously forged Killian memos are obviously forged, they have admitted their collective tit is in a ringer. (If the memos aren't forgeries, then why is CBS whining about being "misled" and offering apologies?)
The scandal here is not that CBS News is so desperate to prevent Bush's reelection that they will knowingly use forged documents against him.
The real scandal, however, is now emerging.
Dan Rather claims that USDA 100% Prime Loon Bill Burkett gave CBS the forged memos. Burkett admits to USA Today that this is true but insists, "I didn't forge anything. I didn't fake any documents. The only thing I've done here is to transfer documents from people I thought were real to people I thought were real. And that has been the limitation of my role. I may have been a patsy." When Dan Rather interviewed him, "Patsy" Burkett said that before handing the memos over to 60 Minutes he "insisted" the memos "be authenticated." And, according to CBS, Patsy Burkett still believes the memos are authentic. Bearing that in mind, consider this exchange from the Rather interview:
Rather: "Have you forged anything?"
Burkett: "No sir."
Rather: "Have you faked anything?
Burkett: "No sir."
Rather: "But you did mislead us."
Burkett: "Yes, I misled."
Rather: "You, you lie, you"
Burkett: "yes, I did."
So, Patsy Burkett said he urged CBS from the git-go to authenticate the memos and still believes the memos are real. Yet, at the same time, he's admitting to misleading and lying to CBS. Misleading and lying about what? This is quite a contradiction.
I watched this interview and the tone was stilted, even scripted. Rather seemed to be prompting the answers and Burkett seemed in a hurry to confirm Rather's characterizations. Rather and CBS already produced a totally fraudulent news story about the president's National Guard service; so why would CBS's interview of the man who helped them perpetrate the fraud have any credence?
The tone of this interview and Burkett's contradictions suggest that CBS and Dan Rather were desperate to paint Bill Burkett as the one and only bad guy in this matter--that the scandal began and ended with Burkett. Burkett, as demonstrated by his answers above, tried to play along but he couldn't help but make defensive remarks which contradicted his scripted admissions of guilt.
When Dan Rather at first defended the memos by claiming that his source was "unimpeachable," was he referring to the bumbling Burkett? As weird as Rather is, I seriously doubt that he would ascribe the word "unimpeachable" to a source who is known to suffer from mental illness and has a long history of making goofy allegations about George W. Bush.
Unimpeachable is a powerful word when describing a news source. When he used that word, I believe Dan Rather thought the documents were authentic and that he was referring to someone much higher on the political food chain than Bill Burkett.
We know now that prior to the release of the fraudulent memos, Burkett had been in contact with two Kerry campaign bigwigs, Joe Lockhart and Max Cleland. And we know that Mary Mapes, who produced the 60 Minutes segment, facilitated the contact between Lockhart and Burkett.
And yesterday, NewsMax perused the Kerry campaign's press releases and discovered this:
The Kerry campaign made an explicit reference to information in at least one of four forged military documents broadcast 14 days ago by CBS's "60 Minutes" - in a detailed campaign press release attacking President Bush's National Guard service dated months before the Sept. 8 "60 Minutes" broadcast.
Appearing in Kerry campaign literature on April 27, 2004, under the headline "Key Unanswered Questions on Bush's Record in National Guard" was the reference to "verbal orders" to recommend Bush's suspension from flying because he missed a physical - issued by Bush's commander, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian on Aug. 1, 1972.
Is that a smoking gun I smell?
Here's my theory:
*The Kerry campaign heard this rumor about Bush's air guard service earlier this year and--desperate to alleviate the damage done to their candidate by Swift Boat Veterans For Truth--put out a press release to bait an investigation.
*When the press didn't respond, someone connected with Kerry's campaign forged memos which seemingly confirmed the rumored allegation and then some.
*Armed with the fake memos, the Kerry campaign contacted Mary Mapes at CBS. Hoping to give the Kerry campaign plausible deniability as the source of the memos, Mapes and the Kerry staffer(s) decided to get themselves a patsy; and who would be more receptive to being "the source" of these memos than a loyal Democrat who is a former Texas National Guard officer with a long history of hating George W. Bush? Bill Burkett was more than happy to oblige and take direction from Kerry operatives and Mapes.
*Burkett then faxes the memos from a Kinko's near his home in Texas to CBS News where Mary Mapes pretends she's seeing them for the first time. Mapes tells Rather that a Democrat activist in Texas (Burkett) received the memos from a someone at the highest levels of the Kerry campaign; and Mapes actually identifies the Kerry operative to Rather.
*The story runs on 60 Minutes and pajama-clad bloggers quickly shoot it down by proving that the memos were written in Microsoft Word.
*Rather has no doubt that the memos are genuine because the source, he insists, is "unimpeachable."
*As more evidence emerges indicating the memos were forged, Rather realizes he's been duped. He also realizes that if he reveals the identity of the unimpeachable source, the Kerry campaign would blown out of the water.
*To prevent a Kerry campaign implosion, Rather and Mapes, who are both committed to Bush's defeat, decide that they will cast the lowly Burkett as the one and only source. Rather hastily arranges a totally contrived interview where Burkett will be painted as the source. Though Burkett doesn't like the idea, he's told it will save the Kerry campaign; being a loyal Democrat, he agrees to play along.
*But CBS's Burkett interview raises more questions than it answers. So, in an attempt stop anyone from tracking the path of the fake memos and to get the heat off himself, Burkett claims a person named "Lucy Ramirez" gave him the forged memos.
*To date, no one has found any evidence that Lucy Ramirez exists.
The real scandal is that the Kerry campaign was obviously involved in this criminal fraud.
The only remaining mystery is who in the Kerry campaign qualifies for the exalted title of Unimpeachable Source.
Or, to ask it another way, what did Senator Kerry know and when did he know it?
September 20, 2004
I would have called you crazy if in 1989 you would have told me that a decade and a half later this party was going to nominate Dukakis's lieutenant governor--another aloof Massachusetts liberal who would overconfidently feel he would mop the floor with this clueless guy named Bush. But I fear I've seen this movie, and it's "Groundhog Day." -- a Democratic consultant, as told to John Fund, Wall Street Journal
The 'Expert' Is A Fake, Too
Should you ever find yourself in need of an expert who doesn't know what the hell he's talking about, call Marcel Matley. Matley is the self-described "document expert" retained by CBS to imply that the fraudulent Killian memos were authentic. Matley told CBS that he had "no problem identifying" the signatures on the memos as Jerry Killian's.
When questioned by the Washington Post, Matley insisted that he only inspected the signatures on the memos for CBS but was unable to authenticate the memos because the copies were of poor quality.
In other words, Matley said the memos can't be authenticated but Killian's signature on the memos can be.
Well, a trip to LensCrafters may be in order for Marcel. Check out this side-by-side comparison of one of the CBS memos and a Pentagon file bearing Killian's known signature. The signatures aren't similar in any regard.
I wonder if Matley would authenticate this, too?
The New York Times reports that CBS network execs have decided that CBS News was "misled" about the "origins" of the purported Bush national guard memos.
In other news, CBS reported today that bears shit in the woods.
September 16, 2004
"...And Let Them Eat Cake While They're At It!"
The woman who apparently taught Anna Nicole Smith how to marry up made an appearance in New York City to annoy volunteers who were assembling relief supplies for Caribbean hurricane victims.
Control freak that she is, Teresa Heinz Kerry Antoinette saw fit to criticize the volunteers' priorities, contending that they were "too focused on sending clothes instead of essentials like water and electric generators," the AP reports.
"Clothing is wonderful, but let them go naked for a while, at least the kids ... water is necessary, and then generators, and then food, and then clothes," admonished the Duchess.
If a hurricane devastated, say, a French coastal town, would the Duchess prioritize relief efforts in such terms?
After John Kerry loses in November, perhaps Teresa should consider divorcing him and marrying yet another U.S. senator--one who's more in line with her way of thinking.
September 15, 2004
In today's Wall Street Journal, John Kerry writes an op/ed column describing his economic policy. I've yet to read it but I assume it boils down to this:
Marry a rich woman.
September 14, 2004
You Are Cordially Invited To A Pajama Party
In suggesting that no one is allowed to point out that the king is wearing no clothes, former CBS exec and all-around snob Jonathan Klein sniveled on Fox News last week that bloggers lacked any "checks and balances" and that "it's a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas."
(Is Klein referring to the same checks and balances CBS News and Dan Rather employ to magically transform forged memos into--PRESTO!--authentic memos?)
Anyhoo, there's a pajama party in the works and everyone's invited--even the Washington Post's Michael Dobbs and Howard Kurtz, who report today:
The lead expert retained by CBS News to examine disputed memos from President Bush's former squadron commander in the National Guard said yesterday that he examined only the late officer's signature and made no attempt to authenticate the documents themselves.
"There's no way that I, as a document expert, can authenticate them," Marcel Matley said in a telephone interview from San Francisco. The main reason, he said, is that they are "copies" that are "far removed" from the originals.
Yet, in CBS News's lame on-air CYA last Friday, Matley said this about the memo signatures purported to be Jerry Killian's: "We look basically at what's called significant or insignificant features to determine whether it's the same person or not. I have no problem identifying them ... I would say based on our available handwriting evidence, Yes. This is the same person ... Since it is represented that some of them are definitely his, then we can conclude they are his signatures."
Two questions for Marcel:
1) If you couldn't authenticate the memos because they are far removed copies, then how could you attempt to authenticate the signature on those far removed copies?
2) What were your parents thinking naming you Marcel?
September 13, 2004
Great Headlines From Scrappleface
1972 Email Casts Doubt on Bush Guard Service--9/9/04
Girth In The Balance
Judging from this recent photograph, the author of Earth in the Balance is melting from the effects of global warming.
Oh, the irony.
September 11, 2004
Three years ago, our country was ruthlessly attacked, and more than 3,000 innocent people lost their lives. We will always remember the victims: sons and daughters, husbands and wives, dads and moms, family members, co-workers, and friends. And we will always be inspired by the heroism and decency of our fellow citizens on that day. Police, firefighters, emergency rescue personnel, doctors, nurses, and many others risked their own lives to save the lives of their fellow citizens. They demonstrated the great character and bravery of our Nation, and they embody the great spirit of America.
Since September 11th, America has fought a relentless war on terror around the world. We are staying on the offensive in this war -- striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home. We pray that God watch over our brave men and women in uniform and all who are waging this war and working to keep America safe. And we pray for their families. In the face of danger, America is showing its character. Three years after the attack on our country, Americans remain strong and resolute, patient in a just cause, and confident of the victory to come.
By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as "Patriot Day."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2004, as Patriot Day. I call upon the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Patriot Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe Patriot Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services, to display the flag at half-staff from their homes on that day, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. eastern daylight time to honor the innocent victims who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-ninth.
GEORGE W. BUSH
September 10, 2004
CBS And The Superscript
In defending the authenticity of the personal memos alleged to have been typewritten by Jerry Killian, Dan Rather is focusing almost entirely on the superscript controversy. Rather and CBS maintain that typewriters with such a superscript capability existed at the time that the memos were supposedly written.
Power Line responds to Rather's explanation:
The superscript issue is, as we've said, relatively minor, and the superscript that is found in one of the documents in Bush's records is completely different from the one in the forged documents.
This is what I expected from CBS, however: pick out one or two relatively small points and show that a typewriter that satisfied those criteria existed in 1972. Which doesn't prove, of course, that Jerry Killian had one--his family says he never typed at all--and doesn't address any of the substantive issues surrounding the memos.
I just watched the CBS Evening News explanation and it struck me as an elaborate dodge. And, amazingly, one CBS reporter had an obviously scripted conversation with Rather in which he went as far as to say that the content of the memos is "incriminating" of the president.
Incriminating? What's incriminating in this matter, Dan? Other than forgery, I mean.
Best Fontgate Headline
Kudos to Matt Drudge for this brilliant headline format:
"RATHER DIGS IN: THE DOCUMENTS ARE AUTHENTIC"
Despite compelling evidence to the contrary, CBS and Dan Rather continue to insist that the already infamous Killian memo is authentic. (Who knows...maybe a Democratic operative grabbed a laptop, borrowed Wesley Clark's WABAC machine, and went back to 1972 to write the memo.
Check out Power Line, the American Spectator, and Little Green Footballs for more fun updates on CBS's Fontgate fiasco.
Black Rock's Black Eye
God help me, I do love it so!
After CBS's Dan Rather went on 60 Minutes to dramatically unveil "a never-before-seen" memo from 1972 that revealed supposedly unflattering stuff about President Bush's national guard service, sharp eyes at the Little Green Footballs blog and FreeRepublic.com noticed something odd.
The memo was typed in font format which wasn't available in 1972. (The superscript format of "111th" is one example.) In fact, as Charles at LGF concluded after conducting an experiment, the memo was most likely composed with Microsoft Word software. Of course there was no Word software in 1972 nor was there a Microsoft.
Though CBS and Dan Rather are standing behind the memo's authenticity, Drudge is reporting that CBS has launched an internal investigation.
And Rather is refusing to reveal the source of the memo.
Perhaps a mugger assaulted Dan on the streets and stuffed the memo in his pocket.
Hey, Dan....what's the frequency?
"Quiet As A Mouse"
In an interview with The Sun that is recounted in today's New York Post, Georgy Farniyev, a survivor of the al-Qaeda attack on School No. 1 in Beslan, Russia, tells a horrifying tale:
It [a detonated bomb] didn't do anything to me, not even a scratch ...
I sat up and was dazed while everyone was screaming. In the commotion, I got up and asked one of the terrorists if I could get water ...
I knew I had to get out. I went back to the gym ... and saw terrible, terrible things. There were body parts, arms and legs, everywhere and wounded people screaming for help as the gunmen carried on firing at them.
Everyone in the area where I had been sitting was dead. I crawled through it all and managed to lie down by a window, staying as quiet as I could--quiet as a mouse.
Georgy is 10-years-old.
He escaped despite shrapnel wounds to his left arm and right leg.
Responding to the Beslan school massacre, Omar Bakri Mohammed, an Islamic "cleric" in London, said that taking women and children hostage is peachy with him and that such a course of action by his fellow Islamovermin in Britain would be justified:
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Mohammed said: "If an Iraqi Muslim carried out an attack like that in Britain, it would be justified because Britain has carried out acts of terrorism in Iraq. As long as the Iraqi did not deliberately kill women and children, and they were killed in the crossfire, that would be okay.
And the U.S. State Department thinks a political solution by Putin's government will stop the kind of people who wounded Georgy and slaughtered his classmates and teachers? Sheesh.
Putin And The Bush Doctrine
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney repeatedly insist that it's impossible to negotiate with terrorists, that the only option is to destroy them.
After the 1993 WTC bombing, the Khobar Towers bombing, the American embassy bombings in Africa, the USS Cole bombing, the September 11 attacks, the Bali resort bombing, numerous kidnappings and beheadings, the failed ricin attack in Iraq, the foiled chemical attack in Jordan, and now the systematic slaughter of children and their teachers in Beslan, Russia, how could anyone disagree?
In the wake of the Beslan massacre, Vladimir Putin--who strongly opposed the Iraqi phase of America's war on terror--has apparently adopted the Bush-Cheney strategy.
To suggestions that he make political overtures to Islamic terrorists, Putin snapped, "Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace? Why should we talk to people who are child-killers?"
Putin's government then announced its own version of the Bush Doctrine, as reported by the Chicago Tribune on September 9:
Russia is prepared to unleash pre-emptive strikes against terrorist bases in "any region," its top general said Wednesday in an ominous declaration that reflected Moscow's resolve to fight terrorism after last week's bloody seizure of a school in North Ossetia.
"As for carrying out preventive strikes against terrorist bases, we will take all measures to liquidate terrorist bases in any region," Col. Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, the Russian military's chief of staff, said after talks with top NATO officials about cooperation in the war against terrorism.
In a September 8 editorial, the New York Post noted that the U.S. State Department had the mindboggling gall to urge Putin to seek a political solution to Islamic terrorism in Russia. President Bush should get the jelly-spined State Department bureaucrats on the same page or shitcan them.
Those Compassionate Liberals, Part II
Writing in OpinionJournal, Al Bromley passes on this gem:
Outside the Sheraton on Seventh Avenue last Wednesday, a protester brandished her feelings on cardboard: "We don't just hate Bush, we hate all of you." She was accompanied by two young men, flush with their first beards, one of whom had a sign that stated, "You have blood on your hands." Republican delegates there were not fazed, even though the night before some had to have police escorts out of Scopa to escape the wrath and intimidation of the protesters ...
... I approached the young woman and asked, "Did you protest Saddam Hussein's killing of 1.5 million people? Are you protesting China's policy of aborting female fetuses?" She threw her sign at me! I took it home.
September 03, 2004
Those Compassionate Liberals
The Journal's James Taranto writes about an encounter with a cheerful Democrat upon exiting Madison Square Garden last night:
Then the crowd streamed out of the Garden onto the streets of New York. Many stopped to thank the New York City policemen who were keeping an eye on things; some shook their hands or posed for pictures with them. We left the security perimeter, and as we crossed Sixth Avenue a woman muttered at us, "Bush m-----f---er." Spoken like a true loser.
W In The Garden
Yowza! If politics is an art, then the occasion of the president's acceptance speech last night is a museum-quality masterpiece.
From the Fred Thompson-narrated introductory film to the in-the-round staging and to the speech and its delivery, it all combined to dramatically make a compelling case for votes on Election Day.
The speech itself is the president's finest since his Whitehall Palace address in London last November. He surveyed his presidency's achievements and then proposed his domestic and defense agendas for a second term; (some of which--federal rural health centers and more college subsidies--made me cringe and others--simplifying the tax code and transforming the military--made me cheer).
Then the president's speech did something Kerry's acceptance speech didn't--it transcended time and place. It took all those domestic and foreign policy proposals and put them in a philosophical context, what W called "a calling from beyond the stars." In tones reminiscent of Ronald Reagan, Bush concluded:
I believe in the transformational power of liberty: The wisest use of American strength is to advance freedom. As the citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq seize the moment, their example will send a message of hope throughout a vital region. Palestinians will hear the message that democracy and reform are within their reach, and so is peace with our good friend, Israel. Young women across the Middle East will hear the message that their day of equality and justice is coming. Young men will hear the message that national progress and dignity are found in liberty, not tyranny and terror. Reformers, and political prisoners, and exiles will hear the message that their dream of freedom cannot be denied forever. And as freedom advances -- heart by heart, and nation by nation -- America will be more secure and the world more peaceful.
America has done this kind of work before -- and there have always been doubters. In 1946, 18 months after the fall of Berlin to Allied forces, a journalist wrote in the New York Times, "Germany is -- a land in an acute stage of economic, political and moral crisis. [European] capitals are frightened. In every [military] headquarters, one meets alarmed officials doing their utmost to deal with the consequences of the occupation policy that they admit has failed." End quote. Maybe that same person is still around, writing editorials. Fortunately, we had a resolute president named Truman, who, with the American people, persevered, knowing that a new democracy at the center of Europe would lead to stability and peace. And because that generation of Americans held firm in the cause of liberty, we live in a better and safer world today.
The progress we and our friends and allies seek in the broader Middle East will not come easily, or all at once. Yet Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of liberty to transform lives and nations. That power brought settlers on perilous journeys, inspired colonies to rebellion, ended the sin of slavery, and set our nation against the tyrannies of the 20th century. We were honored to aid the rise of democracy in Germany and Japan and Nicaragua and Central Europe and the Baltics -- and that noble story goes on. I believe that America is called to lead the cause of freedom in a new century. I believe that millions in the Middle East plead in silence for their liberty. I believe that given the chance, they will embrace the most honorable form of government ever devised by man. I believe all these things because freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is the almighty God's gift to every man and woman in this world.
This moment in the life of our country will be remembered. Generations will know if we kept our faith and kept our word. Generations will know if we seized this moment, and used it to build a future of safety and peace. The freedom of many, and the future security of our nation, now depend on us. And tonight, my fellow Americans, I ask you to stand with me.
One thing I have learned about the presidency is that whatever shortcomings you have, people are going to notice them and whatever strengths you have, you're going to need them. These four years have brought moments I could not foresee and will not forget. I've tried to comfort Americans who lost the most on September the 11th -- people who showed me a picture or told me a story, so I would know how much was taken from them. I've learned first-hand that ordering Americans into battle is the hardest decision, even when it is right. I have returned the salute of wounded soldiers, some with a very tough road ahead, who say they were just doing their job. I've held the children of the fallen, who are told their dad or mom is a hero, but would rather just have their mom or dad.
I've met with the wives and husbands who have received a folded flag, and said a final goodbye to a soldier they loved. I am awed that so many have used those meetings to say that I'm in their prayers and to offer encouragement to me. Where does strength like that come from? How can people so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride? It is because they know their loved one was last seen doing good. Because they know that liberty was precious to the one they lost. And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, idealistic, and strong.
The world saw that spirit three miles from here, when the people of this city faced peril together, and lifted a flag over the ruins, and defied the enemy with their courage. My fellow Americans, for as long as our country stands, people will look to the resurrection of New York City and they will say: Here buildings fell, here a nation rose.
We see America's character in our military, which finds a way or makes one. We see it in our veterans, who are supporting military families in their days of worry. We see it in our young people, who have found heroes once again. We see that character in workers and entrepreneurs, who are renewing our economy with their effort and optimism. And all of this has confirmed one belief beyond doubt: Having come this far, our tested and confident nation can achieve anything.
To everything we know there is a season -- a time for sadness, a time for struggle, a time for rebuilding. And now we have reached a time for hope. This young century will be liberty's century. By promoting liberty abroad, we will build a safer world. By encouraging liberty at home, we will build a more hopeful America. Like generations before us, we have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom. This is the everlasting dream of America -- and tonight, in this place, that dream is renewed. Now we go forward -- grateful for our freedom, faithful to our cause, and confident in the future of the greatest nation on earth.
By this speech, the president provided a philosophical anchor to the Bush Doctrine: America's security is rooted in the expansion of freedom at home and abroad. My instincts are that on November 2, most voters will agree.
September 02, 2004
Give 'Em Hell, Zell
I never for a moment assumed that this GOP Convention would be anything other than mindnumbingly boring. Then Rudy Guiliani spoke. And the usually annoying John McCain. Then Arnold. And Laura Bush. All terrific speeches.
And along came Zell. Wow.
The Democratic senator from Georgia and retired Marine electrified the GOP Convention last night with an old fashioned stump speech that exposed Kerry's leftist record on defense and national security.
The text of Zell's speech is here. A highlight:
Listing all the weapon systems that Senator Kerry tried his best to shut down sounds like an auctioneer selling off our national security but Americans need to know the facts.
The B-1 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, dropped 40 percent of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The B-2 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein's command post in Iraq.
The F-14A Tomcats, that Senator Kerry opposed, shot down Khadifi's Libyan MIGs over the Gulf of Sidra. The modernized F-14D, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered missile strikes against Tora Bora.
The Apache helicopter, that Senator Kerry opposed, took out those Republican Guard tanks in Kuwait in the Gulf War. The F-15 Eagles, that Senator Kerry opposed, flew cover over our Nation's Capital and this very city after 9/11.
I could go on and on and on: against the Patriot Missile that shot down Saddam Hussein's scud missiles over Israel; against the Aegis air-defense cruiser; against the Strategic Defense Initiative; against the Trident missile; against, against, against.
This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces?
U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?
So if Kerry ever says he really does support SDI, make sure he's not referring to the Spitball Defense Initiative.
LinksSFC Paul R. Smith MoH Tribute
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