Archive for August, 2010

I’d Rather be Dead Than a Liar

If Newsweek sold for a dollar, what’s the NY Times worth? I’ve got $26 in my wallet, but I can probably find some change under the sofa cushions. Would you take it if I paid you that? Me neither.

And this is only today’s reason:

As preparations intensify for a Palestinian-Israeli summit meeting in Washington on Thursday, the crude outlines of a Palestinian state are emerging in the West Bank, with increasingly reliable security forces, a more disciplined government and a growing sense among ordinary citizens that they can count on basic services.

Personal checks, long shunned as being unredeemable, are now widely accepted. Traffic tickets are issued and paid, movie theaters are opening and public parks are packed with families late into the summer nights. Economic growth in the first quarter of this year was 11 percent over the same period in 2009, the International Monetary Fund says.

“I’ve never seen Nablus so alive,” Caesar Darwazeh, who owns a photography studio, said on Sunday night as throngs of people enjoyed balloons and popcorn, a four-wagon train taking merrymakers through the streets.

Personal checks and movie theaters—my heart is filled with the spirit of Palestinian nationalism.

I’m glad Nablus is alive, though—because these four Israelis are not:

Four Israelis, including a pregnant woman, were killed when their car was fired on in the West Bank on Tuesday evening, in the deadliest attack on Israelis in more than two years.

The killings appeared to be an effort by Palestinian militants to upset peace talks due to start in Washington on Thursday. Hamas claimed responsibility for the shootings, the Associated Press reported.

Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, a military spokeswoman, described the shootings as a “severe terrorist attack” that came after a two-year period of stability in the West Bank, during which Israel eased many restrictions on Palestinian movement. Roadblocks in the area of the attack had been removed two years ago, she said.

Settlers, many of whom have little faith in the Palestinians or the prospects of peace, were enraged. Tzviki Bar-Hai, the chairman of the South Mount Hebron settlers’ council, told Israel Radio, “For the past 100 years there has been a link between the Jewish people’s desire to live and the Arab people’s desire to kill us.”

I wonder how Ethan Bronner and the New York Times (who also published the second story) feel about the first story after printing the second? I bet the popcorn and cotton candy taste really good to the Palestinians now.

And does anyone else besides me think that the public parks are packed at night because of security provided by Israelis?

Even Bronner concedes the point:

Israeli troops leave security in the cities to the Palestinians during the day. But the commander said that they carried out four or five operations a night — down from a dozen a year ago — and that without those actions the situation would deteriorate…

But much earlier he insists:

Of course, the West Bank remains occupied by Israel. It is filled with scores of Israeli settlements, some 10,000 Israeli troops and numerous roadblocks and checkpoints that render true ordinary life impossible for the area’s 2.5 million Palestinians.

Impossible? Wait a minute, it sounded very possible just a paragraph earlier. Didn’t it?

[T]he crude outlines of a Palestinian state are emerging in the West Bank, with increasingly reliable security forces, a more disciplined government and a growing sense among ordinary citizens that they can count on basic services.

Personal checks, long shunned as being unredeemable, are now widely accepted. Traffic tickets are issued and paid, movie theaters are opening and public parks are packed with families late into the summer nights. Economic growth in the first quarter of this year was 11 percent over the same period in 2009, the International Monetary Fund says.

“I’ve never seen Nablus so alive,” Caesar Darwazeh, who owns a photography studio, said on Sunday night as throngs of people enjoyed balloons and popcorn, a four-wagon train taking merrymakers through the streets.

You can’t believe what you read in the Times—ever.

In fact, I need confirmation of the second story:

In response to Tuesday night’s shooting attack which killed four Israelis near Kiryat Arba, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, “This is very grave incident. The IDF and Israeli security forces will do everything they can to capture the murderers. Israel will not allow terrorists to lift their heads and will exact a price from the murderers and those who sent them.”

The four victims, described by a settler spokesman as a couple who had been in a vehicle and two additional people who were hitching a ride, were driving on Route 60 near the entrance of Kiryat Arba when their vehicle came under fire.

While you’re hunting them down like the dogs they are, keep an eye out for that Bronner fellow. Though I don’t suppose he’ll be lifting his head any time soon, either.


Looks like Sonny Corleone at the toll booth.

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Guess Who Came to Dinner?

I don’t know if moose is kosher, but I’m sure she found something to eat:

Driving to Lancaster from Philadelphia Friday afternoon, my wife and I passed through a town named Ephrata. It was named after the town that, in ancient times, was part of the city of Bethlehem; today it is a thriving Israeli city of 8,000-plus. Friends and colleagues who were meeting us in Lancaster passed towns named Bethlehem, Nazareth, Lebanon, and Zion. Early Pennsylvanians believed, as many modern ones do, in the Divine promise that the exiled Jews would be returned to the land of Bethlehem and Zion. How appropriate, I thought, to help usher in our Shabbat with Governor Palin, an American political leader who, more closely than many, identifies with the Holy Land, ancient and modern.

The Pennsylvania Family Institute, sponsor of the weekend event with Mrs. Palin, is a Christian conservative advocacy group whose positions on many issues are at odds with the liberal social views espoused by many American Jews. In other words, not the community with which one might expect Jews to be breaking challah. But the Institute’s web site raises concerns that many Jews share — that rapidly-rising rates of out of wedlock births, juvenile crime and drug use, and sexually-transmitted diseases are symptomatic of “a culture that is turning its back on the family.”

Independent-minded American Jews, like their Christian counterparts, are justifiably alarmed by these phenomena and are searching for ways to return stability and morality to American family life. It was to in support of this goal that my organization, Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin, set up a Shabbaton — a Sabbath gathering for meals, songs, prayers, and conversation — with the assistance of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, to be a part of their weekend with Mrs. Palin.

It’s not surprising Palin would be so friendly with Jews. There have been hints about her sentiments all along:

Hat Tip for the above story from Phineas at Sister Toldjah, who also quotes Bill Kristol:

So evangelical Christian Sarah Palin spent Friday night with (mostly) observant Jews, along with various Christians, including some Amish. Then on Saturday she spoke at a rally hosted by a Mormon who went out of his way in his remarks to refer to the important role of “churches, synagogues and mosques” in American life.

Early Monday morning, as it happened, I received an e-mail from (Catholic convert) Newt Gingrich from Rome, asking for contact information for a (Jewish) scholar whose book on certain (not very religious) enlightenment thinkers he was reading.

Power to the tea-baggers!

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More On The Peace Of Islam

Forgot to mention, they also like to torture and murder members of the Baha’i faith in Iran

My understanding is that the Baha’i faith is a breakaway Muslim faith, that the original believers were Muslims, mostly in Iran. Their central location is in Haifa, Israel, and the Temple and grounds are a site to be seen. Beautiful.

They are a persecuted minority in Iran:

Minoo Vosough can still hear the guards’ boots marching down the cold hallways of Iran’s Gohardasht prison. The screams of other inmates burn her ears.

She can feel the thud of a fist coming down on her head. And the world going black as she was blindfolded and shoved in a courtroom to hear her fate.

She was arrested in Tehran more than 25 years ago – beaten, interrogated and thrown into solitary confinement. Once a week, she was taken out for a shower. She could tell if it was bright or overcast only by the small window high up in her cell. She cherished the chirping of birds outside.

All she had was a blanket, a spoon and a broken fork.

The Iranian regime accused Vosough of espionage, though she was never charged or afforded legal representation. Her crime in the Islamic republic, she says, was – and still is – her faith.

She is a Baha’i.

She has not spoken publicly about her terrifying experience in an Iranian jail. Until now.

This month, the spotlight again fell on Iran’s 300,000-strong Baha’i community as seven national leaders were sentenced to 20 years each in prison for espionage, propaganda against the Islamic republic and the establishment of an illegal administration.

Here they are, the seven victims of Iran:


Pray for them.

– Aggie

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Who Enjoys Using Poison Gas? Nazis. Plus Taliban? Al Qaeda?

Great minds think alike

KABUL, Afghanistan — Blood tests have confirmed that a series of mysterious mass sickenings at girls’ schools across the country over the last two years were caused by a powerful poison gas, Afghan officials said Tuesday.

The sickenings had long been officially dismissed as episodes of mass hysteria, caused by the frequency of arson and acid attacks directed at schoolgirls by the Taliban and other extremists who oppose their education.

How the gas was delivered — and even whether the poisonings were deliberate — remained a mystery, the officials emphasized. There have been no fatalities, and no one has ever claimed responsibility for the episodes. But the cases have been reported only in girls’ schools, or in mixed schools during hours set aside only for girls.

Alongside the hatred of Jews and Christians, we need to remember that they want to dominate and suppress women.. and little girls.

– Aggie

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Education Secretary Urged Employees To Attend Sharpton Rally

All Sharpton is a racist, a hater, responsible for the Twanna Brawley fiasco which cost one NY attorney his reputation. Sharpton lost in court and has yet to pay the judgment. He encouraged the crowd, and the resulting riot left 8 people dead at Freddie’s Clothing Mart in Harlem. They were shot and burned to death. He encouraged the crowd and eventually a 26 year old Australian yeshiva student was knifed to death by a different mob in Brooklyn. He is one of the worst people in the country today.

This is our government on crack.

By: Lisa Gartner
Examiner Staff Writer
August 30, 2010
A Department of Education e-mail sent Wednesday encouraged workers to join Education Secretary Arne Duncan, above, at a rally led by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

President Obama’s top education official urged government employees to attend a rally that the Rev. Al Sharpton organized to counter a larger conservative event on the Mall.

“ED staff are invited to join Secretary Arne Duncan, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and other leaders on Saturday, Aug. 28, for the ‘Reclaim the Dream’ rally and march,” began an internal e-mail sent to more than 4,000 employees of the Department of Education on Wednesday.

Sharpton created the event after Glenn Beck announced a massive Tea Party “Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where King spoke in 1963.

The Washington Examiner learned of the e-mail from a Department of Education employee who felt uncomfortable with Duncan’s request.

Although the e-mail does not violate the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from participating in political campaigns, Education Department workers should feel uneasy, said David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute.

“It sends a signal that activity on behalf of one side of a political debate is expected within a department. It’s highly inappropriate … even in the absence of a direct threat,” Boaz said. “If we think of a Bush cabinet official sending an e-mail to civil servants asking them to attend a Glenn Beck rally, there would be a lot of outrage over that.”

Wow. We are living in very dangerous times.

Education Department spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya defended Duncan’s decision. “This was a back-to-school event,” she said.

Duncan was chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools for seven years before Obama nominated him in December 2008.


– Aggie

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More Thoughts on the Mosque

I was a little hard on myself over my attempt to explain how exactly I felt about the so-called Ground Zero mosque. I tried to make the point that while any religion has the right to practice its faith anywhere it chooses (subject to local regulations), that wasn’t the point. The point was that Imam Rauf and his financial backers don’t represent any kind of Islam that I recognize.

But I needn’t have been so self-deprecating.

Daniel Pipes feels the same way:

While Muslims have every legal right to build a mosque near Ground Zero, this initiative carries the unmistakable odor of Islamic triumphalism. More importantly, Abdul Rauf’s dubious background and associations give reason to worry that his center will spread Islamist ideology. Therefore, it should be barred from opening.

Very shortly after 9/11, Pipes made the statement that radical Islam was the problem, and moderate Islam would be the solution. I don’t how he still feels about that, but presumably Imam Rauf does not represent moderate Islam.

Here’s another person with an interesting perspective, Judea Pearl. His son, Daniel, was slaughtered on camera by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (at least he boasts of it). As Maureen Dowd said of Cindy Sheehan, he has “absolute moral authority” on the subject:

I have been trying hard to find an explanation for the intense controversy surrounding the Cordoba Initiative, whereby 71 percent of Americans object to the proposed project of building a mosque next to Ground Zero.

I cannot agree with the theory that such broad resistance represents Islamophobic sentiments, nor that it is a product of a “rightwing” smear campaign against one imam or another.

Americans are neither bigots nor gullible.

Deep sensitivity to the families of 9/11 victims was cited as yet another explanation, but this too does not answer the core question.

If one accepts that the 19 fanatics who flew planes into the Twin Towers were merely self-proclaimed Muslims who, by their very act, proved themselves incapable of acting in the name of “true Islam,” then building a mosque at Ground Zero should evoke no emotion whatsoever; it should not be viewed differently than, say, building a church, a community center or a druid shrine.

A more realistic explanation is that most Americans do not buy the 19 fanatics story, but view the the 9/11 assault as a product of an anti- American ideology that, for good and bad reasons, has found a fertile breeding ground in the hearts and minds of many Muslim youngsters who see their Muslim identity inextricably tied with this anti-American ideology.


THE GROUND Zero mosque is being equated with that ideology. Public objection to the mosque thus represents a vote of no confidence in mainstream American Muslim leadership which, on the one hand, refuses to acknowledge the alarming dimension that anti-Americanism has taken in their community and, paradoxically, blames America for its creation.

The American Muslim leadership has had nine years to build up trust by taking proactive steps against the spread of anti-American terror-breeding ideologies, here and abroad.

Evidently, however, a sizable segment of the American public is not convinced that this leadership is doing an effective job of confidence building.

Pearl is a gem! Go, Judea!!

In public, Muslim spokespersons praise America as the best country for Muslims to live and practice their faith. But in sermons, speeches, rallies, classrooms, conferences and books sold at those conferences, the narrative is often different. There, Noam Chomsky’s conspiracy theory is the dominant paradigm, and America’s foreign policy is one long chain of “crimes” against humanity, especially against Muslims.

Overall, the message that emerges from this discourse is implicit, but can hardly be missed: When Muslim grievance is at question, America is the culprit and violence is justified, if not obligatory.

True, we have not helped Muslims in the confidence-building process. Treating homegrown terror acts as isolated incidents of psychological disturbances while denying their ideological roots has given American Muslim leaders the illusion that they can achieve public acceptance without engaging in serious introspection and responsibility sharing for allowing victimhood, anger and entitlement to spawn such acts.

The construction of the Ground Zero mosque would further prolong this illusion.

So, he’s agin’ it, right? Not on the graves of innocent Americans (of all faiths)? No way, no how? Alas, his moral authority falls just short of absolute:

If I were New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, I would reassert Muslims’ right to build the Islamic center and the mosque, but I would expend the same energy, not one iota less, in trying to convince them to put it somewhere else, or replace it with a community-managed all-faiths center in honor of the 9/11 victims.

See Pipes above for my last comment.

Except for this. Why Cordoba in the name Cordoba Initiative? Their answer:

The name Cordoba was chosen carefully to reflect a period of time during which Islam played a monumental role in the enrichment of human civilization and knowledge. A thousand years ago Muslims, Jews, and Christians coexisted and created a prosperous center of intellectual, spiritual, cultural and commercial life in Cordoba, Spain.

Yes, briefly, there was a Caliphate of Córdoba, for just over a century. And it wasn’t a half bad place to live, given the Dark Ages.

But it wasn’t exactly Eden, either.

From the Wikipedia article:

The Caliphate enjoyed immense prosperity throughout the 10th century. Abd-ar-Rahman III not only united al-Andalus, but brought the Christian kingdoms of the north, through force and diplomacy, under control.

The death of al-Hakam II in 976 marked the beginning of the end of the Caliphate of Córdoba. Before his death, al-Hakam named his 10 year old son Hisham II (976–1008) as successor. Seeing that the child was in no way competent to be Caliph, yet having sworn an oath of obedience to him, Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir (the top adviser to Hisham’s father, also known as Almanzor) pronounced him Caliph. Ibn Abi Aamir played guardian for the young Hisham, taking the Caliph’s powers until he was of age. Instead, he isolated Hisham in Córdoba while systematically eradicating his opposition.[8] He steadily allowed Berbers from Africa to immigrate to al-Andalus in order to build up his base of support. Ibn Abi Aamir led a cruel regime compared to Abd-ar-Rahman III. He did not shy away from using force to keep the Christians in check. He, and eventually his son Abd al-Malik (al-Muzaffar), would continue to keep power from Hisham until 1008 when al-Muzaffar died and his brother (Abd al-Rahman) pushed to become the successor of Caliph Hisham; Hisham complied. On a raid in the Christian north, a revolt tore through Córdoba. Abd al-Rahman never made it back.

I’ve been to Córdoba, and seen the Mezquita. It’s breathtaking.

But it’s a curious name for a supposed monument to peace, tolerance, and understanding.

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Now is the winter of our discontent
Made recovery summer
By the sons-a-bitches in the media.


The Dow Jones industrial average surged 165 points, or 1.7 percent, the S&P 500 jumped 17 points, or 1.7 percent, and the Nasdaq composite rose 35 points, or 1.7 percent.

Second-quarter GDP, the broadest measure of economic activity, was revised sharply lower, but was less drastic than forecast. Meanwhile, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the recovery is sputtering, but stressed that the Fed has the tools to ensure continued growth.

Investors shifted away from Treasurys on Friday, after a better-than-expected report on U.S. economic growth and comments from the Federal Reserve chairman.

Investors regained some appetite for riskier assets such as stocks, after government figures showing the U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the second-quarter came in modestly better than many economists had expected.

Because the revision was not quite as severe as expected, stocks rallied
as investors placed bets that the recovery was still on track, albeit a slow

So GDP was revised lower by one-third, and investors were cheered? Really?


Stocks rose Friday and bond prices fell after the government reported that U.S. economic growth didn’t slow as much as feared.

Comments from Ben Bernanke also helped send stocks higher. The Federal Reserve chairman, speaking at the central bank’s annual conference, reaffirmed his outlook for economic growth next year and said the Fed was ready to take extra steps to stimulate the economy if needed.

The upturn in stocks on Friday marked an improvement in sentiment from much of August. Stocks have been mainly falling since Aug. 9 on a series of weak indicators on the economy, including weak home sales figures.

Exactly. That was Friday.

How did that good news go over on Monday?

-140.920 (-1.388%)

Ah, Monday’s always a bad day. Make it up today, right?

Stock index futures were lower on Tuesday as investors awaited data on housing and consumer confidence to gauge the pace of the economy recovery.

U.S. home prices likely eked out a small gain in June, but a rise would represent the final tail winds of the homebuyer tax credit that ended in April rather than housing market improvement.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index likely rose 0.2 percent in June after a 0.5 percent increase in May, seasonally adjusted, according to a Reuters survey of economists. The data comes at 9 a.m. EDT.

At 10 a.m. EDT, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index is seen edging up to 50.5 in August from 50.4 in July, which was the lowest reading since February.

“It is just a very nervous market and going into September certainly doesn’t help. Traditionally September is a weak month for stocks.”

Didn’t they know last Friday September was coming? Didn’t they know home prices and consumer confidence were on life-support?

The data are already out as I write, but I don’t need to know what they say. Friday was a good day for the Dow, but no better for the economy as a whole. GDP was downgraded by 33% instead of the “expected” 42%, and the running dog media cavort like Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.

The difference is that the comely girls with the pom-poms know that if you put out too easily, they won’t respect you in the morning.

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Washington Post: Odd Items Found In Luggage

How odd!

Sort of like the weird stuff you find in auntie’s attic?

– Aggie


Page A10, NY Times [Update – Box Cutters!]

A couple of Arab guys arrested at Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands

Two United States residents of Yemeni descent who flew from Chicago to Amsterdam on Sunday night were detained by the Dutch police after landing on Monday in a bizarre episode that American officials feared might be a dry run for a terrorist plot.

But American law enforcement officials cautioned on Monday night that the men had not been charged with any crime and that the episode might be a misunderstanding. “There’s nothing at all confirmed at this point that’s associated with terrorism,” one official said.

We are, afterall, going to build a mosque at Ground Zero. So, don’t have a cow, please.

And this is the outline of what talk show host, Michael Savage, said. So the NY Times seems to have gotten it right:

A search of one of the men by airport security screeners in Birmingham, Ala., as he waited to board a flight to Chicago earlier on Sunday found that he was carrying $7,000 in cash and that his luggage contained a cellphone taped to a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, three cellphones taped together and several watches taped together, a senior law enforcement official said.

Because no evidence of explosives was found, the man, 48, was permitted to fly to O’Hare Airport in Chicago. He was joined there by the second man, a 37-year-old, and they both boarded United Airlines Flight 908 to Amsterdam.

American officials said federal air marshals had been aboard the flight, which continued to its destination without incident.

But officials discovered that at Birmingham, the 48-year-old passenger had checked his luggage on a different set of flights, to Dulles International Airport outside Washington and on to Sana, Yemen, by way of Dubai. After security agents realized that he had not boarded the flight from Chicago to Dulles, they ordered the airliner back to the gate and retrieved his luggage, which contained the suspicious items.

“The items were not deemed to be dangerous in and of themselves, and as we share information with our international partners, Dutch authorities were notified of the suspicious items,” said Amy Kudwa, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security. “This matter continues to be under investigation.”

Savage got it right, and therefore, our readers heard about it last night. I wonder why the NY Times has chosen to bury the story?

Do they think that ignorant Americans will feel a bit queasy about the unrelated Ground Zero Mosque?

I am fully aware of the fact that not all terrorists are Muslims, that the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists… but this is a huge problem. Guys with bombs in their underwear, dry runs of fake explosives, we’re sick of it. I believe it was the actor, James Wood, who rode in first class from Boston to LA shortly before 9/11 noticed that there were some Arab guys on the flight doing a dry run of a terror attack. He reported it and his suspicions were not acted upon. rI just checked and my memory is accurate this time. This is what they do. They practice. Practice makes perfect.

The NY Times wants us to understand that this could all be innocent, even though the gentlemen sent their luggage on a flight to the Middle East, even as they flew to Amsterdam.

Also, we’re apologizing to Pakistan for the fact that we don’t allow rude (probably sexist) comments to be made to our stewardesses on airlines:

A delegation of Pakistani military officers, traveling to the United States Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla., was removed from a flight at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, a Pakistani official said Monday night.

The nine passengers were removed before takeoff from United Airlines Flight 727 after one of them made what a flight attendant considered to be an “inappropriate remark,” a spokesman for the airline said. (An American military official confirmed the accounts.)

Members of the delegation, led by a two-star general, were offended by their treatment and canceled the Central Command meeting, the official said. He said Defense Department officials had apologized for the incident.

Update: The Boston Globe also buries the story, but they mention an enticing tidbit – the Arabs guys also had a box cutter. Come to think of it, Savage was ranting about box cutters. He was absolutely right. Why is this story being buried? Doesn’t that just make you want to scream? Because Savage was yelling into the microphone, a very entertaining bit of radio, I might add.

You know how dangerous substances become contraband eventually? Maybe box cutters should be illegal? UPS guys could get a special license to carry. The rest of us would be out of luck. Then we could arrest them for carrying box cutters.

– Aggie

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What Was Achieved, and What Might Be Lost

While President Bush was sacrificing his presidency and his reputation to remove a criminal regime in Iraq, a young South Side punk was making his bones doing everything in his power to scuttle that effort.

Even up to the United States Senate, where he publicly and proudly opposed General Petraeus’ surge that won damn thing once and for all (well, once, anyway).

It’s worth remembering what was accomplished at the cost of so many lives:

The American people, our coalition allies and especially the Iraqi people have paid an enormous price. It is important to remember why.

For over two decades, the regime of Saddam Hussein had threatened the national security of the United States, its key allies and the stability of the Middle East. It had invaded some of its neighbors (Iran and Kuwait) and threatened others (including Saudi Arabia and Israel). It had produced weapons of mass destruction, used them on its own people and the people of Iran, and threatened to use them against others.

It had actively supported terrorist groups of various stripes. It had brutalized and suppressed its own people. It had invaded Kuwait without provocation, leading to the 1991 Gulf War. It had violated the terms of the cease-fire agreement that ended that war. And it had defied the will of the international community by violating no fewer than 16 U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning its activities and calling on it to stop them.

One small point: it did more than threaten Saudi Arabia and Israel. As I recall, Saddam’s forces briefly moved into SA; and according to the BBC, he launched 39 Scud missiles at Israel during the Gulf War (to which Israel never responded).

And what did we leave behind?

From a national security perspective, the U.S. objective for a post-Saddam Iraq was an Iraqi government that would not pursue weapons of mass destruction, invade its neighbors, support terror, or oppress its people. That objective has been achieved. The governments that have followed Saddam—and those that are likely to govern going forward—have and will continue to meet these criteria because the Iraqi people have concluded that doing so is in their interest.

The U.S. objective was also to leave behind an Iraq that would be able to govern itself, defend itself, sustain itself and be an ally in the war on terror. That objective has also been achieved.

To repeat: Bush started this war, and he won it. President Brooks Robinson Obama entered office when the war was already on third base, and thought he was the one who hit a triple.

But he can still get thrown out at the plate.

A stubborn al Qaeda presence is still capable of spectacular terrorist attacks, but those attacks are neither a strategic threat nor a harbinger of renewed sectarian violence.

To his credit, President Obama has built on this success. As promised, he is continuing to bring our troops home but without jeopardizing what has been achieved. His next task is to realize a long-term diplomatic, economic and security partnership between Iraq and the United States. As he does so, it will help Iraqis achieve a brighter future and make the U.S. effort in Iraq a hard-won success for all Americans.

The author is more charitable than I am. Omoeba (and most Democrats) worked tirelessly for failure, and inherited success. (He won the nomination over Hillary partly based on his unequivocal devotion to failure.) He should have the decency to acknowledge that, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t.

But he could pay tribute to that success by committing to its perseverance. But he’s against that, too. He wants the snapshot, the moment in time that portrays success without the effort that guarantees it. The soldiers have to leave because his vanity demands it. The facts (and blood) on the ground might argue otherwise, but I’m repeatedly surprised by how deaf those big ears of his are.

PS: Michelle Malkin sets the punk against the president:

Barack Obama, 2002:

What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.
What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Wolfowitz and Perle… they wouldn’t be Jewish by any chance, would they? Just wondering.

Barack Obama, 2010:

In a radio interview with CBS News, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama will emphasize that “We are putting the Iraqis in control of their history and their future. They’ll have responsibility for security and responsibility for providing for the citizens of that country. That is a milestone worth barking.”

Just hours before the president speaks from the Oval Office, Gibbs said the speech would emphasize “the milestone of the end of our combat mission,” and said Mr. Obama will say, “The story of the Iraqis will be written by the Iraqis.”

Gibbs also had a terse response to Republicans challenging the president to give credit to the troop surge ordered by former President George. W. Bush — a move opposed by then-Senator Obama.

Gibbs acknowledged that “the surge improved security conditions in Iraq.” But, he added, “I think the only question that matters for them (Republicans) today — we can look back in history, but the question that matters today is, where are you on bringing more than 90,000 troops out of Iraq right now? Do you support the president’s timeline for ending our combat operation in Iraq? That’s the question I’d like to hear answered by those Republicans.”

And where will you be if security goes to hell because Americans left prematurely? It’s so easy to be a bad winner when someone else had done the winning for you, Gibbsy. Remember that.

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Have You Heard The One About The Arab Guys Who Got Stopped In Alabma With Cell Phones, Wires, Strange Liquids?

The punch line is that after they were caught, they were allowed to fly to Chicago!

hahaha! This is security in America today!

Two men held in the Netherlands may have been trying to test U.S. airport security by putting bottles of liquid with electronic devices attached in checked baggage, a U.S. law enforcement source said Monday.

The men were taken into custody after landing in Amsterdam on a flight from Chicago, Illinois, Dutch prosecutors said. Both men were being held at Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport at the request of Dutch national police, airport spokesman Robert Kapel said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said they were arrested after “suspicious items” in their luggage raised concern.

“The items were not deemed to be dangerous in and of themselves, and as we share information with our international partners, Dutch authorities were notified of the suspicious items,” the U.S. agency said. “This matter continues to be under investigation.”

Those items were a shampoo bottle with watches attached to it and a bottle of a stomach medicine with mobile phones attached, according to the U.S. law enforcement source, who has been briefed on the investigation. That has raised concern that the men may have been testing a future terrorist plot, the source said.

The source identified the men being taken into custody as Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi and Hezem al-Murisi. Another U.S. law enforcement official said both men were in the United States legally, but their countries of origin were not immediately known.

The passengers were aboard United Airlines Flight 908 from Chicago, Illinois, to Amsterdam, Homeland Security said. But one of the men began his trip by boarding a flight in Birmingham, Alabama, and the other one originally flew from Memphis, Tennessee, a second law enforcement official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity said neither of the passengers were carrying items that are barred from aircraft, and federal air marshals were aboard the Chicago-to-Amsterdam flight. However, the luggage was checked onto a flight that went from Chicago to Yemen by way of Washington and Dubai, that official said.

I’m taking a chance here by posting this, because I was listening to Michael Savage rant about it on my way home from the beach (glorious, by the way, thanks for asking), and he sometimes gets a little excitable. But he claims that the odd items were discovered in Alabama and the Arabs who possessed those items were only arrested because they actually loaded their suitcases on a flight to Dubai while they flew to Amsterdam. The flight to Dubai had to return to the airport in Chicago when it was discovered that the terrorists were not on board but their luggage was. Oops. Is it bad to call them terrorists without a blown up plane?

In other words, the airport security guys in Alabama caught them, but the decision was made to send them on to Chicago. So who knows what the truth is – Savage is pretty out there. But if he’s right about ten per cent of it, we are out of our minds.

I kind of wonder what Barack Obama would do if a massive terror event happened on US soil during his watch? You know, I think he would be deeply offended and strike back hard. Conventional wisdom is that he would wimp out, and it might be true, but I can imagine him taking a nutty.

– Aggie

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Peace Always Brings Out the Worst in People

I went to a mixed martial arts bout the other night and a peace parley broke out.

The blood! The guts! The foul language! Children screamed, women fainted, strong men fell to their knees!

The Palestinian Authority religious affairs minster, a week before peace talks in Washington, warned of war if Jerusalem is not “returned” to “its owners. And we are its owners.”

With PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in the audience, Mahmoud Al-Habbash declared in his Friday sermon, “Jerusalem can ignite a thousand and one wars,” according to a translation supplied by Palestinian Media Watch.

Just one ought to do it, Mahmoud. And you’d lose.

But he wasn’t done writing checks with his mouth that his bad-assed self could never dream of cashing:

Unless Jerusalem “becomes the capital of the Palestinian people, there is no peace,” he warned. “The term ‘war’ will not be erased from the lexicon…as long as Jerusalem is occupied.

“If Jerusalem is dishonored, if Jerusalem is disgraced, if [Jerusalem] is lost, it may leave the door open to all possibilities of struggle, all possibilities of war.

“Jerusalem is not just a city. Al-Aqsa is not just a mosque. Jerusalem is the key to peace…. Unless Jerusalem will be Palestinian, as it was throughout history, the capital of the Palestinian state and the capital of the Palestinian people, the place which is the object of heartfelt longing and which all Muslims aspire to reach; unless Jerusalem is like that way, there is no peace. There is no peace without Jerusalem. There is no stability without Jerusalem.”

Fine, we get it! Shut up!

Christ, I thought he’d never stop.

This is a member of what is laughingly called the Palestinian government, and his starting position in peace talks is “mine, mine mine.”

One rabbis says mean people should go away (they should!), and everybody gets the vapors. This punk erases millennia of history and culture, and he gets a seat at the table.

In his “reaching out Muslims” speech in Cairo in June 2008, President Obama said he foresees the United Nations flag flying over the city.

That’ll be the day.

Palestinians behave like Palestinians, and no one should be surprised. Presidents behave like flaming a-holes, and I guess no one should be surprised either.


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