November 29, 2005

The Economist Weighs In On Iraq

The Economist has presented their own list of reasons why our military should maintain its presence in Iraq until the job is completed.

Iraq is not Vietnam. Most Iraqis share America’s aims, and the Sunnis, who boycotted the first general election in January, are now taking part in peaceful politics.

President Bush’s efforts to spread democracy in the region are starting to bear fruit.

The Arab world may be turning against extremist elements in the insurgency – the jihadists led by al-Qaida’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) has argued that American troops are now a barrier to further progress, and a withdrawal would deprive Zarqawi of the one thing that unites the Sunnis and jihadists.
“This has seductive logic, but flies in the face of the evidence,” The Economist states. “Most of the insurgents’ victims are Iraqis, not American soldiers. There are still too few American troops, not too many. And the Iraqi forces that America is training are not yet ready to stand on their own feet.”

A fixed timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops would embolden the insurgents.

By leaving Iraq, the U.S. would not buy peace. Zarqawi and his fellow fanatics have vowed to attack America around the globe.

An American “retreat” would grant militant Islam an enormous victory, and Arabs who want to modernize their region would conclude that they cannot count on the U.S. to stand by its friends.
“The cost to America of staying in Iraq may be high, but the cost of retreat would be higher,” The Economist concludes.

“Yet it is also well past time for George Bush to spell out to the American people much more clearly and honestly than he has hitherto done why their sons and daughters fighting in Iraq should remain in harm’s way.”

As regards the last point, I believe this would be much easier to accomplish if the media was honest and not biased so far to the left that they are cheerfully derelict in their duty to report anything resembling the truth if it means reporting that something, anything the Bush Administration has a hand in is even remotely successful, and if they were above the sins of misquoting him or pulling random lines out of the context of his speeches.

by @ 10:30 am. Filed under Iraq

Go Lieberman!

Joe Lieberman, Democrat, has an Op-Ed in today’s Wall Street Journal that gives his position on our presence in Iraq after visiting the country and seeing things first hand.

His opinion differs greatly from those of his fellow high profile Democrats, their liberal masters and the Mainstream Media.

He believes we should stay until the job is finished.

Progress is visible and practical. In the Kurdish North, there is continuing security and growing prosperity. The primarily Shiite South remains largely free of terrorism, receives much more electric power and other public services than it did under Saddam, and is experiencing greater economic activity. The Sunni triangle, geographically defined by Baghdad to the east, Tikrit to the north and Ramadi to the west, is where most of the terrorist enemy attacks occur. And yet here, too, there is progress.

There are many more cars on the streets, satellite television dishes on the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones in Iraqi hands than before. All of that says the Iraqi economy is growing. And Sunni candidates are actively campaigning for seats in the National Assembly. People are working their way toward a functioning society and economy in the midst of a very brutal, inhumane, sustained terrorist war against the civilian population and the Iraqi and American military there to protect it.

We’re failing over there, huh? The Bush policies are not working, huh? We need to cut and run, oh, sorry, I meant “redeploy,” huh? According to Lieberman, we aren’t, they aren’t and we definitely shouldn’t, in that order.

It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern. The terrorists are intent on stopping this by instigating a civil war to produce the chaos that will allow Iraq to replace Afghanistan as the base for their fanatical war-making. We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again and to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle East, which has long been a major American national and economic security priority.

How is it that a Democrat who spends some time over there comes away with a view that is in total counterpoint to those of most of his same party colleagues?

It could be that he’s neither a liar nor a coward, or that he is simply more concerned with the wellbeing of Americans and a secure future for his country than he is with partisan politics.

Still, I wonder what kind of pressure this article will earn him from the other folks on the left and if there is indeed pressure, if he’ll bluntly stay the course rather than sacrifice patriotism, honor and truth to the liberal party line, which acknowledges none of these.

In this case, my bet’s that he’ll stick to his guns.

In the face of terrorist threats and escalating violence, eight million Iraqis voted for their interim national government in January, almost 10 million participated in the referendum on their new constitution in October, and even more than that are expected to vote in the elections for a full-term government on Dec. 15. Every time the 27 million Iraqis have been given the chance since Saddam was overthrown, they have voted for self-government and hope over the violence and hatred the 10,000 terrorists offer them. Most encouraging has been the behavior of the Sunni community, which, when disappointed by the proposed constitution, registered to vote and went to the polls instead of taking up arms and going to the streets. Last week, I was thrilled to see a vigorous political campaign, and a large number of independent television stations and newspapers covering it.

None of these remarkable changes would have happened without the coalition forces led by the U.S. And, I am convinced, almost all of the progress in Iraq and throughout the Middle East will be lost if those forces are withdrawn faster than the Iraqi military is capable of securing the country.

They say we have no plan.

Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for victory in Iraq? Yes we do. And it is important to make it clear to the American people that the plan has not remained stubbornly still but has changed over the years. Mistakes, some of them big, were made after Saddam was removed, and no one who supports the war should hesitate to admit that; but we have learned from those mistakes and, in characteristic American fashion, from what has worked and not worked on the ground. The administration’s recent use of the banner “clear, hold and build” accurately describes the strategy as I saw it being implemented last week.

And as to our brave military personnel in Iraq?

I cannot say enough about the U.S. Army and Marines who are carrying most of the fight for us in Iraq. They are courageous, smart, effective, innovative, very honorable and very proud. After a Thanksgiving meal with a great group of Marines at Camp Fallujah in western Iraq, I asked their commander whether the morale of his troops had been hurt by the growing public dissent in America over the war in Iraq. His answer was insightful, instructive and inspirational: “I would guess that if the opposition and division at home go on a lot longer and get a lot deeper it might have some effect, but, Senator, my Marines are motivated by their devotion to each other and the cause, not by political debates.”

Thank you, General. That is a powerful, needed message for the rest of America and its political leadership at this critical moment in our nation’s history. Semper Fi.

Thank you, Joe, for bringing home the truth and sharing it.

by @ 9:41 am. Filed under Iraq

Hillary Vs. “A Simple Question”

Senator Hillary Clinton, who is widely expected to make a run for the Presidency in 2008, evidently finds that answering a simple “yes” or “no” question, a real “no-brainer,” can be a complex intellectual exercise.

That, or maybe she just forgot to do her homework before she voted to send our troops to Iraq, and is reluctant to ‘fess up. Oops!

by @ 3:20 am. Filed under The Clintons

O’Reilly On San Francisco

Abrasive, outspoken conservative columnist, creator of “The O’Reilly Factor,” author of the book by the same name and FOX “Talking Points” host Bill O’Reilly, a man despised by the left and not astoundingly popular in the Blogosphere on either side due in part to offensive, pompous and dumb remarks he made a couple of years back that sounded more like they could have come from John Kerry, has written a column titled San Francisco Blues which is too accurate for me to avoid giving its due for its sheer agreement with my own views on San Francisco. I live here, though I am leaving in three days to return to America, and it’s rare to run into such an on-point description of San Francisco, so…

Here are three excerpted paragraphs, to give an idea of what’s to come:

It is hard to figure out the mindset of many Americans living in the secular-progressive paradise of San Francisco. A couple of weeks ago, they voted to oppose military recruiting in the city’s public schools, including colleges. In the middle of a vicious war on terror, the City by the Bay says no to the people who volunteer to protect us.


In the recall of former California Gov. Gray Davis, 80 percent of San Franciscans voted to keep him, while the rest of the state voted overwhelmingly to boot him out. So you could say that not only is San Francisco out of touch with traditional America, it is out of touch with its own liberal state.


It has been said that people get the government they deserve, and in San Francisco’s case, that could not be more true. The city’s streets are chaotic, quality of life has deteriorated, and the prevailing wisdom would please Fidel Castro.

Read the entire column if you want a condensed-but-spot-on look at what the “City By The Bay” has become over the last couple of decades.

My own description, somewhat shorter than but easily as definitive as O’Reilly’s, can be conveyed in four words: A depressing liberal shithole.

by @ 1:33 am. Filed under San Francisco Liberals

November 28, 2005

What The Hell?

Now, is this funny, or what?

Even though I must confess that I did kind of chuckle about it, when you stop to think about it, I’d have to say it’s a lot less funny than it is “what?”

I mean, how does it come to be that U.S. Border Patrol uniforms are hecho en Mexico? Is the contractor that supplies the uniforms an idjit?

The labels inside the U.S. Border Patrol uniforms have been making many federal agents feel uneasy. It’s not the fit or feel of the olive-green shirts and pants, but what their labels read: “Made in Mexico.”

“It’s embarrassing to be protecting the U.S.-Mexico border and be wearing a uniform made in Mexico,” says T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a 6,500-member union.

I’ll just bet it is, T.J., I’ll just bet it is…

by @ 9:03 pm. Filed under WTF!!!!?

Mubarak’s Take, Naturally

Naturally, Ariel Sharon’s intentions to “give away the farm” are more than enough incentive for Hosni Mubarak to throw his two cents into Sharon’s corner.

BARCELONA - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is the only Israeli politician capable of reaching peace with the Palestinians, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in an interview published here yesterday.

Mubarak’s comments come days after Sharon quit the Likud party, saying he could not push for peace with the Palestinians while wasting time battling far-right rivals.

“Sharon, of all the Israeli politicians, is the only one capable of achieving peace with the Palestinians,” Mubarak said in an interview with Spain’s ABC newspaper. “He has the ability to take difficult decisions, commit to what he says and carry it out.”

Mubarak pointed to Sharon’s success in pushing through Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip despite opposition from settlers and from within Likud.

Sure, real success as illustrated here and here {Hat Tip, Israpundit}. Oh, and remember this?

At any rate, the fact that Sharon has apparently committed himself to a course of capitulation that would do France proud would naturally make him the favorite of any Arab leader. Here is, after all, an Israeli leader who is willing to do for his overt and covert neighboring enemies what they themselves have been unable to accomplish in fifty seven years, that is, get some momentum going on the unravelling of the Jewish state — once a downhill roll commences, it’s difficult if not impossible to stop — and the handing over of what were once retained by Israel as buffer zones against repeat invasions by hostile neighbors to a murderous enemy whose ultimate goal is the total annihilation of Israel.

Middle East Newsline (MENL) reports in the name of “political sources” that Sharon has begun briefing senior U.S. officials of his intention to withdraw unilaterally from more than 95% of Judea and Samaria. Sharon is hoping to be elected Prime Minister for a third time - this time not in the Likud, however, but as head of his new Kadima Party.

One of the most valuable “acquisitions” of the Kadima Party, MK Chaim Ramon, formerly of Labor, said openly last week that Sharon will unilaterally withdraw to final borders in Judea and Samaria if Palestinian terror continues. IMRA reported that Ramon said this on a live interview on Channel 10’s “London and Kirschenbaum” news program just hours after he announced his decision to join Sharon’s Kadima.

Mar Sharon and his cronies are determined, it would seem, to add a geographic definition to the term downsizing.

by @ 10:44 am. Filed under Israel and the Palestinians

NOLA Restaurants After Katrina

I ran across this article at the Journal News website and, Nawlins cooking ranking right up there near the top in my personal culinary esteem, had to comment on it.

NEW ORLEANS — Breakfast at Brennan’s, a tradition since 1946, is postponed until next year. Dinner at Antoine’s, a French Quarter delight for 165 years, won’t be served until January or later. Same story at Galatoire’s, the century-old Bourbon Street landmark. In this city where two favorite pastimes are eating and talking about eating, Hurricane Katrina caused a massive case of indigestion for the world-renowned restaurant industry.

These days, instead of serving up shrimp remoulade and trout meuniere, owners are installing new coolers, fixing roofs and trying to replace wait staffs and cooks.

At least they’re all working hard to reopen, but even still they’ll most likely need a lot of local support owing to the fact that it will take some time to re-attain the comfortable cash flow of strong tourism they enjoyed prior to the descent of Hurricane Katrina on the Crescent City, if they are to even begin recouping both their losses and the costs of preparing their restaurants to begin serving again.

One prominent victim was Commander’s Palace in the city’s Garden District, where folks craving dishes such as fresh Gulf fish served with a potato crust in a caper beurre blanc will likely have to wait until March. The distinctive turquoise building received heavy damage when Katrina roared ashore Aug. 29.

Commanders Palace is one of my favorite among the most famous eateries in Nawlins, and their Sunday Jazz Brunch was{hopefully will someday be again} a really special experience. Their food is wonderful in every way and a trip through the upper Garden District by streetcar adds volumes of ambiance to the whole experience. I lived there for years, and my own sensation as such never diminished.

Commander’s is the jewel in the crown of the local Brennan family of restaurants, and not the only one of the group that suffered physically as a result of Katrina’s visit from hell.

Food isn’t the only concern. At Brennan’s, a wine expert is evaluating its 36,000 bottles of wine, which were left untended in soaring heat after the storm.

But let’s not forget the low-end economic concerns.

Finding waiters, bus boys and dishwashers is another chore, and wages are extremely competitive. Restaurateur Ralph Brennan, for example, is paying $10 an hour for dishwashers, up from $6 pre-Katrina.

This is interesting, since the national minimum wage was raised well above $6.00 long before Katrina came to call, but then, living in Nawlins for a few years can easily make you forget that you’re in the United States, anyway.

Maybe that’s why the food they serve you down in New Orleans, and for that matter the state of Louisiana, in addition to its mega-deliciousness, is completely different from the cuisines featured in other parts of the country. Because in spite of its membership in Congress and its presence on maps of the United States, the Pelican State really is a foreign country…

by @ 9:35 am. Filed under Katrina The Bitch

November 27, 2005

RightMarch Print Ad

RightMarch now has a great new full-page print ad out that highlights the positive results (that never seem to make “the news,” fancy that!) of our troops’ continuing success in Iraq.

The ad is here.

by @ 1:11 pm. Filed under American Patriotism

November 26, 2005

A Note To Readers

Anyone who reads the three posts that have, thusfar, constituted the posts I have entered today is welcome to place them in any category they so desire.

Right thinkers such as myself would classify them one way and, no doubt, those whose views are set in the opposing camp will classify them another way.

A liberal Democrat recently referred to my blog as shrill, indubitably because of my undeniable outspokenness where my conservative political beliefs are concerned. This is typical, though.

The left has been attacking nearly every value dear to patriotic or God-worshipping Americans in the course of a merciless, unending and omnipolitical assault-based campaign for many years, a campaign that has intensified profoundly since George W. Bush was elected President and has redoubled since he was reelected.

They have often countenanced rhetoric that any thinking person would consider shameful and extreme.

Yet any conservative forum that refutes their assault on right-thinking doctrine is labelled “shrill,” whether reasonable or not.

It is perfectly acceptable to the left to publish opinions that give aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war, to keep racism alive and use it as a political tool and to challenge the very concepts upon which our country is based and has succeeded in order to keep pushing America towards a more socialist and, in the context of the principals upon which our form of government has always existed, an opposite position in the annals of civilization.

Either they just ‘don’t get it’ or their goal is a society in which they no longer enjoy the freedoms they now have.

The left has been demonstrating, for years, that they don’t believe in freedom of speech unless it echoes their own beliefs. Just go to most liberal websites and venture a conservative comment. You won’t get a balanced argument, you’ll get a gang attack by leftist readers lacking in any reasoned argument. Then go to a conservative blog, and find that most of the same types of proponents offer evidence-based arguments.

Yet according to them, they are “reasonable” and we are “shrill.”

The left owes the freedom of speech they enjoy to the same factors they want to stomp into oblivion, which is more the pity.

They seek not to encourage debate, but to silence dissent.

Totalitarian regimes discourage freedom of speech(see “but to silence dissent”), seek to take guns out of the hands of citizens(so they are unable to defend themselves against government suppression of their freedom) and remove religion from all public forums(God cannot come between the proletariat and the supremacy of the government). So does the American left.

The aims are the same, yet the left continues their full court press, and either they don’t understand what they’re pushing on America or they seek to shatter our form of government and plunge us into totalitarianism.


If some uninformed, brainwashed or treasonous American wants to call me “shrill,” he is entitled to do so, but I hope for his sake that we never end up in the hell of the kind of government he or she advocates due to pure ignorance of the realities of life.

I think the term “reality” sums up my own views, versus the term “Utopia” that defines the doctrine of the left.

by @ 7:44 am. Filed under Just Editorializing