Thursday, June 30, 2005

Examining the Democrats' counsel on Iraq

We have all heard the criticism from dem/leftists on Iraq. Now that they have had their say, what is their plan? Or could it be they have nothing to offer but their usual Bush bashing rhetoric? OpinionJournal has some counsel from the dem/lefists.

"Americans have a long and honorable tradition of taking exception with their governments, even during wartime. After Mr. Bush's speech, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid described Iraq policy as "adrift, disconnected from the reality on the ground and in need of major mid-course corrections." Surely anyone offering such a biting critique won't object if we examine precisely what "corrections" the loyal opposition has in mind.

Let's see: As best we can tell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's main suggestion Tuesday night was that we spend more on veterans benefits. Former General Wesley Clark--a man who should have something valuable to say on the subject of waging modern war (he wrote a book with that title)--lamented that Iraq has become a recruiting and training ground for terrorists, as if Abu Musab al-Zarqawi only entered his current profession in April 2003. And as if jihadists aren't also still hitting us in Afghanistan, which is a campaign General Clark says he supports.

By the logic of Mr. Clark's critique, the U.S. should withdraw from Iraq immediately because the terrorists will then leave us alone. But when Fox's Brit Hume pursued the question, Mr. Clark backed away. As for helpful policy alternatives, we didn't hear any."

I doubt Reid has any plans or thoughts on what should be done differently. As for Pelosi, well those of us that are veterans, would not mind some increased benefits, but what has that have to do with Iraq? Do you have any thoughts on what to do differently, Ms. Pelosi? I doubt it. As for the good general, one would think that with his years of experience he would have some thing concrete to say. His advice is tocut and run and the terrorists wil leave us alone. If you believe that General Clark, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Seems these three dem/leftists are all talk with no idea on what action to take.

"Then there is Delaware Senator Joe Biden, whose thoughts on the subject are particularly worth attending to because he is the Democratic Party's lead spokesman on the issue. Consider his track record to date:
• In April 2004, Mr. Biden predicted there would be "absolute chaos" in Iraq following the handover of sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government of Ayad Allawi. "Who's going to be the referee when [U.S. Ambassador Paul] Bremer leaves?" he demanded to know on CBS's Early Show. But Mr. Allawi helped smooth the transition to the current representative government, and he has taken his place as a leader of the opposition.

• In December 2004, Mr. Biden said prospects for a successful election in Iraq were "receding rapidly" because of Administration mismanagement; a month later, he predicted the election was "going to be ugly." But the January 30 elections were peaceful and inspiring.

• Earlier this month, Mr. Biden called the de-Baathification of the Iraqi army one of the "major mistakes" of U.S. policy, and called for Iraqis to rehire some of Saddam Hussein's old colonels. But it was precisely the April 2004 effort to re-enlist Baathist officers in the so-called Fallujah Brigade that was among the Administration's greatest mistakes so far in Iraq.

The Senator's latest ideas are to accept an Egyptian offer to train Iraqi police and to get NATO to deploy some troops to police the border with Syria. On the former, we weren't previously aware that the Cairo constabulary was a paragon of efficiency and probity, which is perhaps why the Iraqi government has discreetly turned away the offer. On the latter, has he talked to the French? They've barely allowed NATO forces to help in Afghanistan, much less be deployed in numbers in Iraq.

We stress Mr. Biden's views because he strikes us as one Democrat who understands the stakes in Iraq and seems genuinely interested in a good outcome. The thinness of even his policy alternatives suggests that Democrats really don't have any better ideas than the two-pronged Bush strategy of 1) supporting a new, inclusive democratic Iraqi government and 2) training and deploying Iraqi security forces as rapidly as possible.

As for the sincerity of Mr. Biden's colleagues, we are less sure. That goes especially for the 122 House Democrats--Barney Frank, Rahm Emanuel and Charlie Rangel among them--who last month supported a Congressional resolution calling for a timetable for withdrawal. This is a guarantee of defeat. These are the "Pottery Barn" Democrats, who claim to support the war effort on the premise that since the U.S. "broke" Iraq (rather than Saddam), the U.S. has to fix it--even as they have nothing but criticism to offer."

Well at least Biden has some sort of ideas, though they would exacerbate the situation more than fix anything. Biden has annouced that he is interested in running forpresident in 2008, so naturally he has moved from left to right on Iraq. Perhaps he is sincere, but in my opinion, it is just a political manuveur. Now, annoucing timetables is broadcasting to the enmey when they can expect to have the full force of the US military off their backs. They would likely slime their way back to friendlier countries, say Syria and Iran and hunker down until the time comes for US troops to leave. This is a sure prescription for defeat. I wonder if this same group would have demanded time tables from FDR or Truman during WWII?

There is always room for constructive criticism and new ideas and apporaches. What the dem/leftists offer is only politcally motivated critcism. They may not believe presenting any concrete plans or ideas to be in their best interest. Aftr all, should they do that, there would be some thing to measure them against. - Sailor

Durbin and Rove and the Mainstream Media - More Than Mere Bias

Here is another fine article by Doc Farmer that is sure to get the usual leftist suspects all in a tizzy. I am sure I will get some of their usual tiresome comments. Doc delves into the blatant media bias. - Sailor

Durbin and Rove and the Mainstream Media - More Than Mere Bias
Written by Doc Farmer
Thursday, June 30, 2005

Okay, a quick show of hands. How many of you bought that "apology" from Dick Durbin? Which one, you ask? Well, let's forget about the one where he blamed America for not being smart enough to understand his "nuance" - that was pretty much an insult to everyone's intelligence. For that matter, so was the real apology, where he was sorry for potentially being "misunderstood" by the great unwashed (that's us, in case you're curious).

Now, I'm quite sure that all of you heard about Durbin's little snit on the Senate floor, where he compared Gitmo to the worst depredations of history. Nazi concentration camps. Soviet gulags. The Killing Fields. Horrors almost beyond comprehension, which killed millions of innocent civilian non-combatants. By extension, Durbin compared our soldiers with stormtroopers (the non-Star Wars variety), cossacks and other scum-like creatures. In addition, just so you understand, these were not off the cuff remarks made in the heat of the moment. Durbin spoke from a prepared, written text.

He knew EXACTLY what he was saying. And the sickest part of it all is, I
think that walking cesspool actually believes it.

Oh, you didn't hear about Durbin's seditious slander? Ah, you must still be watching CBS News. Desperate Dan may be gone from the anchor's desk, but his blatant lib/dem/soc/commie legacy lives on. CBS did a total of NO stories about Durbin from the time he lied on the Senate floor to the time of his "apology" (where, coincidentally, he lied yet again). ABC News did one story (when he actually apologized) and NBC News did two.

Therefore, you can be forgiven for not knowing about the liar's libel. If you're dumb enough to rely on the MSM as your only source of information, that is. (And given that you are reading this, I will happily assume that you are smarter than that).

Let's now compare and contrast this to another little speech by another denizen of the District. Karl Rove, who has been called everything from a senior presidential advisor (which he is) to a puppet master (which he ain't) was speaking before
a bunch of New York conservatives. Yes, I was surprised too. I didn't think they even allowed conservatives in New York. Anywhere. In that speech, he made the following statement -

      Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks, and prepared for war. Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks, and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.
My my my my my, what a difference a party affiliation makes. The mainstream (see also: lib/dem/soc/commie) media went into full ape excrement mode. Oh, the Humanity, they cried. Chuck Schumer and the Hildebeast went before their adoring fans, er, um, I mean reporters, and railed at Rove's statement. Demands for his apology, his resignation, and his reproductive organs were ringing across the nation thanks to the MSM.

Meanwhile, Durbin was acting as if everything in the world was both hunky and dory. Which is not too surprising, because for him it probably was. He appeared at a big lib/dem/soc/commie fundraiser, applauded and cheered at a VFW in Peroria (what, did they have a
convention of head wound survivors in the audience that day?) and generally did what Durbin does best - trashed America, our troops, and gave aid and comfort to the enemy.

Here's the rub, though. The mainstream media's bias is not really all that surprising anymore. Sickening and disturbing, yes, but hardly a shock. What really gets my goat is that the MSM didn't actually do their job - investigation - as regards the allegations of both men. I mean, these are the folks who are supposed to be seeking truth wherever it may be, right? Well, while the bacon flaps its way off your breakfast plate, let's do what the MSM is apparently afraid to do.

The Nazis, in their six year orgy of violence and devastation, murdered between 11 and 15 million people. It wasn't just six million Jews, although I personally believe that number to be incorrect - the
true toll was probably higher by a million or two. It was also Romany (the true name of the so-called "Gypsys"), Slavs, political opponents, Blacks, homosexuals, the mentally ill or retarded, and on and on. Stalin's Gulags killed another seven or eight million. And poor piker Pol Pot could barely get on the scale at only 2 million dead. Although, to his credit, he did take out the largest percentage of a total population - about one third - by comparison to his other lib/dem/soc/commie counterparts.

Yup, that's right. Nazis were socialists - not economically, but politically in many ways. The Soviets and the Khmer Rouge were Communists. So, the worst slaughters in the past century have been related, politically at least, to folks like Dick Durbin. An unfair comparison? No. Just the truth.

How many have been murdered at Gitmo again? Zero. In fact, how many have actually DIED at Gitmo, from
any cause? None. Zip. Nada. Bupkis.

Oh, what about the torture? No air conditioning? If that's the case, I may have to have my folks arrested for not supplying me with summer cooling for the first 11 years of my life. (Actually, I may have a case anyway - they served liver one night and said it was "swiss steak" - that's gotta be a violation of the Geneva Conventions).

Now, compare this to what Rove said. That liberals were more concerned about "understanding" our attackers. I've heard Sean Hannity on the radio (well, on the podcast, anyway - I can't get him on my wireless) saying that the distinction is the word "liberals" as opposed to "democrats." Well, to my mind, they're pretty much the same damned thing, so let's put that one aside. If you look at the things liberals - including some actual card-carrying democrats in Congress - said following the 9/11 attacks, you'd be hard pressed
to see how "hawkish" they were. No, some of these doves were billing and cooing and fluttering their eyes coquettishly at Usama bin Laden and Al Qaeda within days of the massacre.

Don't believe me? Do a search on Lexis/Nexus. Or, simply save some time and look up the "Notable Quotables" over at the Media Research Centre for some rather disgusting examples of how "unified" the lib/dem/soc/commies were back then: Go here, and here.

So, what Rove said was true. Actually, factually correct.

And yet, Durbin stands before the Senate (and the world), lies like a Clinton, and gets away with a non-apology, given
only to cool the jets of the lib/dem/soc/commie leadership, while the drumbeat for Rove's hide continues.

Oh, by the way - you should know that after 9/11 (and indeed, during it) there were indeed liberals and conservatives. There was no real "unity" - not, at least, at the highest echelons of lib/dem/soc/commie-dom. Sure, they joined hands and sang on the steps, but I'll guaran-damn-tee you that the political wheels were a turning as soon as that first jetliner hit the World Trade Centre.

So, if (God forbid) another airliner is used to kill civilians, or the terrorists nuke San Diego to fulfill the prophecy of Babylon 5, and you see a bunch of lib/dem/soc/commies up on Capitol Hill singing Kum-By-Yah, just be aware of one thing.

They're lying.

They don't mean it.

They're glad the terrorists attacked.

And they'll do
everything in their power to help the terrorists succeed.

About the Writer: Doc Farmer is a writer and humorist who is also a moderator on ChronWatch's Forum. He formerly lived in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but now resides in the Midwest. Doc receives e-mail at

This Article Was First Published On ChronWatch At:

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

It's All About 9/11

Most of the reaction to the president's speech from the dem/leftists, terrorists ass kissers and appeasers and the usual leftists suspects has been the whining over the mention of 9/11 and Iraq. Listening to their rantings, you would think that Iraq under saddam was a peaceful state uninvolved in supporting and abetting terrorism. Nothing could be further from the truth. The 9/11 Commission in their report documented that there were links between Iraq and al-Qaeda. Andrew C. McCarthy gets into some details in his commentary.

"President George W. Bush forcefully explained last night — some of us would say finally forcefully explained last night after too long a lull — why our military operations in Iraq are crucial to success in the war on terror.

It was good to hear the commander-in-chief remind people that this is still the war against terror. Specifically, against Islamo-fascists who slaughtered 3000 Americans on September 11, 2001. Who spent the eight years before those atrocities murdering and promising to murder Americans — as their leader put it in 1998, all Americans, including civilians, anywhere in the world where they could be found.

It is not the war for democratization. It is not the war for stability. Democratization and stability are not unimportant. They are among a host of developments that could help defeat the enemy.

But they are not the primary goal of this war, which is to destroy the network of Islamic militants who declared war against the United States when they bombed the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993, and finally jarred us into an appropriate response when they demolished that complex, struck the Pentagon, and killed 3000 of us on September 11, 2001.

That is why we are in Iraq."

To those you might have faulty memories War was declared on the United States of America 1,387 days ago. Efforts to treat this as a law enforcement issue met with failure. While law enforcement will certainly be part of defeating terrorism, it is a war!

"Saddam Hussein's regime was a crucial part of that response because it was a safety net for al Qaeda. A place where terror attacks against the United States and the West were planned. A place where Saddam's intelligence service aided and abetted al Qaeda terrorists planning operations. A place where terrorists could hide safely between attacks. A place where terrorists could lick their wounds. A place where committed terrorists could receive vital training in weapons construction and paramilitary tactics. In short, a platform of precisely the type without which an international terror network cannot succeed.

The president should know he hit the sweet spot during his Fort Bragg speech because all the right people are angry. The New York Times, with predictable disingenuousness, is railing this morning that the 9/11 references in the speech are out of bounds because Iraq had “nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorist attacks.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and the tedious David Gergen, among others, are in Gergen's words “offended” about use of the 9/11 “trump card.”

If the president is guilty of anything, it's not that he's dwelling on 9/11 enough. It's that the administration has not done a good enough job of probing and underscoring the nexus between the Saddam regime and al Qaeda. It is absolutely appropriate, it is vital, for him to stress that connection. This is still the war on terror, and Iraq, where the terrorists are still arrayed against us, remains a big part of that equation.

And not just because every jihadist with an AK-47 and a prayer rug has made his way there since we invaded. No, it's because Saddam made Iraq their cozy place to land long before that. They are fighting effectively there because they've been invited to dig in for years."

I am quite offended that the dem/leftists, terrorist ass kissers and appeasers, continue to ignore facts as they are continually revealed. If it does not concur with their viewpoint, they eithter try and marginalize it or just ignore it. One would think that these leftists would want to see they scum that murdered 3000 people, most of them their fellow citizens, defeated. Of course that would not be in their political agenda.

"On that score, nobody should worry about anything the Times or David Gergen or Senator Reid has to say about all this until they have some straight answers on questions like these. What does the “nothing whatsoever” crowd have to say about:

Ahmed Hikmat Shakir — the Iraqi Intelligence operative who facilitated a 9/11 hijacker into Malaysia and was in attendance at the Kuala Lampur meeting with two of the hijackers, and other conspirators, at what is roundly acknowledged to be the initial 9/11 planning session in January 2000? Who was arrested after the 9/11 attacks in possession of contact information for several known terrorists? Who managed to make his way out of Jordanian custody over our objections after the 9/11 attacks because of special pleading by Saddam's regime?

Saddam's intelligence agency's efforts to recruit jihadists to bomb Radio Free Europe in Prague in the late 1990's?

Mohammed Atta's unexplained visits to Prague in 2000, and his alleged visit there in April 2001 which — notwithstanding the 9/11 Commission's dismissal of it (based on interviewing exactly zero relevant witnesses) — the Czechs have not retracted?

The Clinton Justice Department's allegation in a 1998 indictment (two months before the embassy bombings) against bin Laden, to wit: In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.

Seized Iraq Intelligence Service records indicating that Saddam's henchmen regarded bin Laden as an asset as early as 1992?

Saddam's hosting of al Qaeda No. 2, Ayman Zawahiri beginning in the early 1990's, and reports of a large payment of money to Zawahiri in 1998?

Saddam's ten years of harboring of 1993 World Trade Center bomber Abdul Rahman Yasin?

Iraqi Intelligence Service operatives being dispatched to meet with bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998 (the year of bin Laden's fatwa demanding the killing of all Americans, as well as the embassy bombings)?

Saddam's official press lionizing bin Laden as “an Arab and Islamic hero” following the 1998 embassy bombing attacks?

The continued insistence of high-ranking Clinton administration officials to the 9/11 Commission that the 1998 retaliatory strikes (after the embassy bombings) against a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory were justified because the factory was a chemical weapons hub tied to Iraq and bin Laden?

Top Clinton administration counterterrorism official Richard Clarke's assertions, based on intelligence reports in 1999, that Saddam had offered bin Laden asylum after the embassy bombings, and Clarke's memo to then-National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, advising him not to fly U-2 missions against bin Laden in Afghanistan because he might be tipped off by Pakistani Intelligence, and “[a]rmed with that knowledge, old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad”? (See 9/11 Commission Final Report, p. 134 & n.135.) "

I doubt the dem/leftists want the answers to those questions. It might make them look more foolish than they already look. Quite frankly, it would not play into their political agenda. The likes of Teddy Kennedy, Howie Dean, Johnny Kerry, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have gone way too far out on the limb calling this war a quagmire and bashing the president on this war.

"Since Operation Enduring Freedom, we have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of Al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad.

We have credible reporting that Al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities. The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to Al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs.

Iraq's increasing support to extremist Palestinians coupled with growing indications of relationship with Al Qaeda suggest that Baghdad's links to terrorists will increase, even absent U.S. military action.

There's more. Stephen Hayes's book, The Connection, remains required reading. But these are just the questions; the answers — if someone will just investigate the questions rather than pretending there's “nothing whatsoever” there — will provide more still.

So Gergen, Reid, the Times, and the rest are “offended” at the president's reminding us of 9/11? The rest of us should be offended, too. Offended at the “nothing whatsoever” crowd's inexplicable lack of curiosity about these ties, and about the answers to these questions.

Just tell us one thing: Do you have any good answer to what Ahmed Hikmat Shakir was doing with the 9/11 hijackers in Kuala Lampur? Can you explain it?

If not, why aren't you moving heaven and earth to find out the answer?"

They are not doing this simply because it does not fit with their political agenda. I suspect I will have some comments from the left, using the same old tiresome diastribes against the president and the war. has already issued "talking" points for them. I will look forward to their comments, as useless and non factual as they will be. - Sailor

The President's Speech

For those of you that have not seen or heard the president's speech last night, here it is. So before you pay any mind to the talking heads, the MSM, the dem/leftists, terrorist ass kissers and appeasers and the usual leftist suspects spin, read the speech for yourselves. - Sailor

"Thank you and good evening. I am pleased to visit Fort Bragg — "Home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces." It is an honor to speak before you tonight. My greatest responsibility as president is to protect the American people, and that is your calling as well. I thank you for your service, your courage and your sacrifice. I thank your families, who support you in your vital work. The soldiers and families of Fort Bragg have contributed mightily to our efforts to secure our country and promote peace. Americais grateful — and so is your commander-in-chief.

The troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on terror. This war reached our shores on September 11, 2001. The terrorists who attacked us — and the terrorists we face — murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. Their aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and oppression — by toppling governments, driving us out of the region, and exporting terror.

To achieve these aims, they have continued to kill — in Madrid, Istanbul, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, Bali, and elsewhere. The terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent, and with a few hard blows they can force us to retreat. They are mistaken. After September 11, I made a commitment to the American people: This Nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will take the fight to the enemy. We will defend our freedom.

Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war. Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women, and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home. The commander in charge of Coalition operations in Iraq — who is also senior commander at this base — General John Vines, put it well the other day. He said: "We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us."

Our mission in Iraq is clear. We are hunting down the terrorists. We are helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We are advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability — and laying the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren.

The work in Iraq is difficult and dangerous. Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying — and the suffering is real. Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it, and it is vital to the future security of our country. And tonight I will explain the reasons why.

Some of the violence you see in Iraq is being carried out by ruthless killers who are converging on Iraq to fight the advance of peace and freedom. Our military reports that we have killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq who have come from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and other nations. They are making common cause with criminal elements, Iraqi insurgents, and remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime who want to restore the old order. They fight because they know that the survival of their hateful ideology is at stake. They know that as freedom takes root in Iraq, it will inspire millions across the Middle East to claim their liberty as well. And when the Middle East grows in democracy, prosperity, and hope, the terrorists will lose their sponsors, lose their recruits, and lose their hopes for turning that region into a base for attacks on America and our allies around the world.

Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate. Hear the words of Usama bin Laden: "This Third World War … is raging" in Iraq. "The whole world is watching this war." He says it will end in "victory and glory or misery and humiliation."

The terrorists know that the outcome will leave them emboldened, or defeated. So, they are waging a campaign of murder and destruction. And there is no limit to the innocent lives they are willing to take.

We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who exploded car bombs along a busy shopping street in Baghdad — including one outside a mosque. We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who sent a suicide bomber to a teaching hospital in Mosul. And we see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who behead civilian hostages and broadcast their atrocities for the world to see.

These are savage acts of violence — but they have not brought the terrorists any closer to achieving their strategic objectives. The terrorists — both foreign and Iraqi — failed to stop the transfer of sovereignty. They failed to break our Coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies. They failed to incite an Iraqi civil war. They failed to prevent free elections. They failed to stop the formation of a democratic Iraqi government that represents all of Iraq's diverse population. And they failed to stop Iraqis from signing up in large numbers with the police forces and the army to defend their new democracy.

The lesson of this experience is clear: The terrorists can kill the innocent — but they cannot stop the advance of freedom. The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September 11 … if we abandon the Iraqi people to men like Zarqawi … and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like bin Laden. For the sake of our Nation's security, this will not happen on my watch.

A little over a year ago, I spoke to the Nation and described our Coalition's goal in Iraq. I said that America's mission in Iraq is to defeat an enemy and give strength to a friend — a free, representative government that is an ally in the war on terror, and a beacon of hope in a part of the world that is desperate for reform. I outlined the steps we would take to achieve this goal: We would hand authority over to a sovereign Iraqi government … we would help Iraqis hold free elections by January 2005 … we would continue helping Iraqis rebuild their nation's infrastructure and economy … we would encourage more international support for Iraq's democratic transition … and we would enable Iraqis to take increasing responsibility for their own security and stability.

In the past year, we have made significant progress:

One year ago today, we restored sovereignty to the Iraqi people.

In January 2005, more than eight million Iraqi men and women voted in elections that were free and fair — and took place on time.

We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country. Rebuilding a country after three decades of tyranny is hard — and rebuilding while at war is even harder. Our progress has been uneven — but progress is being made. We are improving roads, and schools, and health clinics … and working to improve basic services like sanitation, electricity, and water. And together with our allies, we will help the new Iraqi government deliver a better life for its citizens.

In the past year, the international community has stepped forward with vital assistance. Some thirty nations have troops in Iraq, and many others are contributing non-military assistance. The United Nations is in Iraq to help Iraqis write a constitution and conduct their next elections. Thus far, some 40 countries and three international organizations have pledged about 34 billion dollars in assistance for Iraqi reconstruction. More than 80 countries and international organizations recently came together in Brussels to coordinate their efforts to help Iraqis provide for their security and rebuild their country. And next month, donor countries will meet in Jordan to support Iraqi reconstruction. Whatever our differences in the past, the world understands that success in Iraq is critical to the security of all our nations. As German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said at the White House yesterday, "There can be no question a stable and democratic Iraq is in the vested interest of not just Germany, but also Europe."

Finally, we have continued our efforts to equip and train Iraqi Security Forces. Wehave made gains in both the number and quality of those forces. Today Iraq has more than 160,000 security forces trained and equipped for a variety of missions. Iraqi forces have fought bravely — helping to capture terrorists and insurgents in Najaf, Samarra, Fallujah, and Mosul. And in the past month, Iraqi forces have led a major anti-terrorist campaign in Baghdad called Operation Lightning — which has led to the capture of hundreds of suspected insurgents. Like free people everywhere, Iraqis want to be defended by their own countrymen — and we are helping Iraqis assume those duties.

The progress in the past year has been significant — and we have a clear path forward. To complete the mission, we will continue to hunt down the terrorists and insurgents. To complete the mission, we will prevent Al Qaeda and other foreign terrorists from turning Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban — a safe haven from which they could launch attacks on America and our friends. And the best way to complete the mission is to help Iraqis build a free nation that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself.

So our strategy going forward has both a military track and a political track.

The principal task of our military is to find and defeat the terrorists — and that is why we are on the offense. And as we pursue the terrorists, our military is helping to train Iraqi Security Forces so that they can defend their people and fight the enemy on their own. Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.

We have made progress — but we have a lot more work to do. Today Iraqi Security Forces are at different levels of readiness. Some are capable of taking on the terrorists and insurgents by themselves. A larger number can plan and execute anti-terrorist operations with Coalition support. The rest are forming and not yet ready to participate fully in security operations. Our task is to make the Iraqi units fully capable and independent. We are building up Iraqi Security Forces as quickly as possible, so they can assume the lead in defeating the terrorists and insurgents.

Our Coalition is devoting considerable resources and manpower to this critical task. Thousands of Coalition troops are involved in the training and equipping of Iraqi Security Forces. NATO is establishing a military academy near Baghdad to train the next generation of Iraqi military leaders — and 17 nations are contributing troops to the NATO training mission. Iraqi Army and Police are being trained by personnel from Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Poland, Romania, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Today dozens of nations are working toward a common objective: an Iraq that can defend itself, defeat its enemies, and secure its freedom.

To further prepare Iraqi forces to fight the enemy on their own, we are taking three new steps:

First, we are partnering Coalition units with Iraqi units. These Coalition-Iraqi teams are conducting operations together in the field. These combined operations are giving Iraqis a chance to experience how the most professional armed forces in the world operate in combat.

Second, we are embedding Coalition "Transition Teams" inside Iraqi units. These teams are made up of Coalition officers and non-commissioned officers who live, work, and fight together with their Iraqi comrades. Under U.S. command, they are providing battlefield advice and assistance to Iraqi forces during combat operations. Between battles, they are assisting the Iraqis with important skills — such as urban combat, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance techniques.

Third, we are working with the Iraqi Ministries of Interior and Defense to improve their capabilities to coordinate anti-terrorist operations. We are helping them develop command and control structures. We are also providing them with civilian and military leadership training, so Iraq's new leaders can more effectively manage their forces in the fight against terror.

The new Iraqi Security Forces are proving their courage every day. More than 2,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces have given their lives in the line of duty. Thousands more have stepped forward, and are now in training to serve their nation. With each engagement, Iraqi soldiers grow more battle-hardened, and their officers grow more experienced. We have learned that Iraqis are courageous and that they need additional skills. That is why a major part of our mission is to train them so they can do the fighting and our troops can come home.

I recognize that Americans want our troops to come home as quickly as possible. So do I. Some contend that we should set a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces. Let me explain why that would be a serious mistake. Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis — who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done. It would send the wrong message to our troops — who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission they are risking their lives to achieve. And it would send the wrong message to the enemy — who would know that all they have to do is to wait us out. We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed — and not a day longer.

Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don't you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job. Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever — when we are in fact working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave. As we determine the right force level, our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters — the sober judgment of our military leaders.

The other critical element of our strategy is to help ensure that the hopes Iraqis expressed at the polls in January are translated into a secure democracy. The Iraqi people are emerging from decades of tyranny and oppression. Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Shia and Kurds were brutally oppressed — and the vast majority of Sunni Arabs were also denied their basic rights while senior regime officials enjoyed the privileges of unchecked power. The challenge facing Iraqis today is to put this past behind them, and come together to build a new Iraq that includes all its people.

They are doing that by building the institutions of a free society — a society based on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and equal justice under law. The Iraqis have held free elections and established a Transitional National Assembly. The next step is to write a good constitution that enshrines these freedoms in permanent law. The Assembly plans to expand its constitutional drafting committee to include more Sunni Arabs. Many Sunnis who opposed the January elections are now taking part in the democratic process — and that is essential to Iraq's future.

After a constitution is written, the Iraqi people will have a chance to vote on it. If approved, Iraqis will go to the polls again, to elect a new government under their new, permanent constitution. By taking these critical steps and meeting their deadlines, Iraqis will bind their multiethnic society together in a democracy that respects the will of the majority and protects minority rights.

As Iraqis grow confident that the democratic progress they are making is real and permanent, more will join the political process. And as Iraqis see that their military can protect them, more will step forward with vital intelligence to help defeat the enemies of a free Iraq. The combination of political and military reform will lay a solid foundation for a free and stable Iraq.

As Iraqis make progress toward a free society, the effects are being felt beyond Iraq's borders. Before our Coalition liberated Iraq, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons. Today the leader of Libya has given up his chemical and nuclear weapons programs. Across the broader Middle East, people are claiming their freedom. In the last few months, we have witnessed elections in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. These elections are inspiring democratic reformers in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Our strategy to defend ourselves and spread freedom is working. The rise of freedom in this vital region will eliminate the conditions that feed radicalism and ideologies of murder — and make our Nation safer.

We have more work to do, and there will be tough moments that test America's resolve. We are fighting against men with blind hatred — and armed with lethal weapons — who are capable of any atrocity. They wear no uniform; they respect no laws of warfare or morality. They take innocent lives to create chaos for the cameras. They are trying to shake our will in Iraq — just as they tried to shake our will on September 11, 2001. They will fail. The terrorists do not understand America. The American people do not falter under threat — and we will not allow our future to be determined by car bombers and assassins.

America and our friends are in a conflict that demands much of us. It demands the courage of our fighting men and women … it demands the steadfastness of our allies … and it demands the perseverance of our citizens. We accept these burdens — because we know what is at stake. We fight today, because Iraq now carries the hope of freedom in a vital region of the world — and the rise of democracy will be the ultimate triumph over radicalism and terror. And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens — and Iraq is where they are making their stand. So we will fight them there … we will fight them across the world — and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won.

America has done difficult work before. From our desperate fight for independence, to the darkest days of a Civil War, to the hard-fought battles against tyranny in the 20th Century, there were many chances to lose our heart, our nerve, or our way. But Americans have always held firm, because we have always believed in certain truths. We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity, and returns to strike us again. We know that when the work is hard, the proper response is not retreat, it is courage. And we know that this great ideal of human freedom is entrusted to us in a special way — and that the ideal of liberty is worth defending.

In this time of testing, our troops can know: The American people are behind you. Next week, our Nation has an opportunity to make sure that support is felt by every soldier, sailor, airman, coast guardsman, and Marine at every outpost across the world. This Fourth of July, I ask you to find a way to thank the men and women defending our freedom — by flying the flag … sending letters to our troops in the field … or helping the military family down the street. The Department of Defense has set up a website — You can go there to learn about private efforts in your own community. At this time when we celebrate our freedom, let us stand with the men and women who defend us all.

To the soldiers in this hall, and our servicemen and women across the globe: I thank you for your courage under fire and your service to our Nation. I thank our military families — the burden of war falls especially hard on you. In this war, we have lost good men and women who left our shores to defend freedom — and did not live to make the journey home. I have met with families grieving the loss of loved ones who were taken from us too soon. I have been inspired by their strength in the face of such great loss. We pray for the families. And the best way to honor the lives that have been given in this struggle is to complete the mission.

I thank those of you who have re-enlisted in an hour when your country needs you. And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our Armed Forces. We live in freedom because every generation has produced patriots willing to serve a cause greater than themselves. Those who serve today are taking their rightful place among the greatest generations that have worn our Nation's uniform. When the history of this period is written, the liberation of Afghanistan and the liberation of Iraq will be remembered as great turning points in the story of freedom.

After September 11, 2001, I told the American people that the road ahead would be difficult — and that we would prevail. Well, it has been difficult. And we are prevailing. Our enemies are brutal — but they are no match for the United States of America — and they are no match for the men and women of the United States military.

Thank you. And may God bless America."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

This is a test, it is only a test!

I found this over at Snugg Harbor, I thought is was interesting to participate in. You made find it so as well. Thanks Guy! - Sailor

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Just Desserts Café

Looks like it has not taken long forsome enterprising individual, this being one Logan Darrow Clements, has filed an application to build a hotel at 34 Cilley Hill Road. This address should be very familiar to Justice David H. Souter, since it is his home. Here is an excerpt from the article.

"On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.
Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development.""

A rather delicious irony. But, Clements does have a valid point here. After all such a development project would most definitely produce considerably more tax revenue than Souter's home would. This was one of the arguements presented by New London in 'Kelo vs. New London'. It was also one of the justifications sighted in the majority opinion. It will be most interesting tosee if the Selectmen of Weare have the cujonés to apporve this application and begin conemnation proceedings under eminant domain. - Sailor


With all the negative news being pushed by the media on Iraq and the leftists chiming in, the President has his work cut out for him to turn the tide on the public's perception on what is going on in Iraq. With the reporting of the media and the whining of the leftists, you would think we are losing. That is not the case. Every day the Iraqi people make progress on defining their democracy. The Iraqi people are more cooperative in flushing out terrorits and are more determined than before to see these miscreants dealt with. Ralph Peters gives his insights in his commentary.

"Abandoning Iraq would be the equivalent of handing it over to al Qaeda terrorists or like extremists, providing them with a new beachhead in the Middle East. It could also result in Iraq becoming an Iranian-Syrian sphere of influence.

It would also teach the worst possible lessons — telling the Arab and Muslim world that we're not serious about Middle Eastern freedom and democracy, and proving to potential adversaries such as China, North Korea and Iran that America is a paper tiger.

The president must trumpet the (underreported) successes since Iraq's Independence Day: Eight million Iraqis braving death to vote in democratic elections, establishing a free government and drafting a new constitution is no small feat — and a good news story.

Of course, the president should "roger up" to the serious challenges that exist in dealing with the insurgency, while noting the progress in the training/equipping of Iraqi forces — without overselling their numbers or capability. Finally, he should articulate some of the steps he's going to take to advance the mission in Iraq in order to complete the transfer of power to the Iraqi government and bring our brave men and women home."

The president will need to make the very best case he can here. The stakes are just too high. Cutting and running is what bin Laden and the other terrorist scum are banking on. All these BS comparisons to Vietnam are what the terror gorups are banking on, hoping that the leftists, terrorist ass kissers and appeasers will win out. That would also send a cery bad message to Iran.

"A majority of Sunnis boycotted January's elections. But if the Iraqi state is to be fully representative of its people, the Sunnis must be brought in on the drafting of the constitution and made part of the mainstream political process ASAP.

Last Friday, President Bush welcomed Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari to the White House. After a closed-door meeting, Bush said, "Today we're at a critical moment in the history of this proud nation."

He was talking about Iraq, but the fact is that United States is also at a "critical moment" in its history. We are deeply involved in a Herculean effort to reshape the Middle East, "draining the swamp" of extremism and repression that feeds terrorism.

America must decide whether it will finish the job in Iraq, or let the region be plunged deeper into the darkness of the likes of Saddam Hussein, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. President Bush should make that choice clear to the American people."

The Sunnis are realizing that they need to be involved in the government and that boycotting the elections may have been a mistake. Cutting and running, as the leftists want to do, would turn the middle east back to what it was, a powder keg ready to explode. With Iran still persuing nukes, it will only get worse should we run. The president needs to be forceful in making the case for Iraq and the war on terror. - Sailor

Monday, June 27, 2005

What I Saw at Gitmo

Much has been made of the detention center at Gitmo. The leftists, starting with Amnesty International and ending with Dirtbag Dick Durbin, would have us believe it is some where between the Nazi Death Camps and the Soviet Gulags. Of course they offer no evisdence of torture and the like, except for what Dirtbag read before the Senate and that certainly was not even remotely torture. Of course we never hear about how the detainees try and injure our troops there. Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu, recently made a visit to Gitmo and reports on what he found there. Some of this will shock most of you.

"Last week, I was privileged to be part of a Department of Defense trip to the Joint Task Force - Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I got to see the operations of this “controversial” facility up-close – something particularly important after Sen. Richard Durbin’s comparison of its guard to Nazi stormtroopers and calls of leftists to shut the center down. Our group went to GITMO to check out tales that the military was being too tough on these terrorist detainees. We left convinced that America is being extraordinarily lenient – far too lenient.

After speaking with soldiers, sailors, and civilians who collectively staff Gitmo, I left convinced that abuse definitely exists at the detention facilities, and it typically fails to receive the press attention it deserves: it’s the relentless, merciless attacks on American servicemen and women by these terrorist thugs. Many of the orange jumpsuit-clad detainees fight their captors at every opportunity, openly bragging of their desire to kill Americans. One has promised that, if released, he would find MPs in their homes through the internet, break into their houses at night, and “cut the throats of them and their families like sheep.” Others claim authority and vindication to kill women, children, and other innocents who oppose their jihadist mission authorized by the Koran (the same one that hangs in every cell from a specially-designed holder intended to protect it from a touching the cell floor – all provided at U.S. taxpayer expense). One detainee was heard to tell another: “One day I will enjoy sucking American blood, although their blood is bitter, undrinkable….” These recalcitrant detainees are known euphemistically as being “non-compliant.” They attack guards whenever the soldiers enter their cells, trying to reach up under protective facemasks to gouge eyes and tear mouths. They make weapons and try to stab the guards or grab and break limbs as the guards pass them food."

As I said, you do not here about this kind of stuff. The leftists will have you believe that these detainees are being abused, but it appears that the detainees are the ones trying to dish out abuse. Can you imagine that these leftist terrorist ass kisseres want this scum released?

"Of the estimated 70,000 battlefield captures that were made in Afghanistan, only a tiny percentage, something on the order of 800-plus, were eventually evacuated to GITMO. These were the worst of the worst. More than 200 have been released back to their home country – if the U.S. is assured that the detainees would not be tortured by local authorities upon return. These men were freed because they were deemed by ongoing official military review processes to no longer pose a threat, or to possess no useful intelligence. And this process has proven too generous at times: more than 10 released GITMO detainees have been killed or recaptured fighting Americans or have been identified as resuming terrorist activities. Still, the process is up and running for review of cases, and if a Washington DC circuit court approves a government appeal, the system for military tribunals will get started. All mechanisms are in place and ready to go as soon as DoD gets a green light.

There is a good reason these unlawful combatants are being confined. They are evil and dangerous individuals. Yet these thugs are treated with an amazing degree of compassion: They are given ice cream treats and recreational time. They live in clean facilities, and receive a full Muslim religious package of Koran, prayer rug, beads, and prayer oils. An arrow in every cell points to Mecca. The call to prayer is played five times daily. They are not abused, hanged, tortured, beheaded, raped, mutilated, or in any way treated the way that they once treated their own captives – or now treat their guards."

What the media and leftists do not want you to know, is that all of these detainees have had a hearing before a military tribunal, which more than covers what the Geneva Convention requires. The US has done this, even though these detainees are not POWs as described in the Geneva Convention. Quite frankly, these detainees have it better now than they ever did when they were home or in the field. So much for that leftist bullshit about Gitmo. - Sailor

Hillary Pressures Networks to Cancel Klein

Remember in 2004 when everyone that had writtien a book that was critical of Bush were allover the media? All of the morning talk shows and all over cable? What a difference a year and a different politician make. Seems Edward Klein, who has written a book critical of Hillary Clinton, is being cancelled from appearing on the usual author circuit. Now before you leftists go off about Klein being a right wing character assasin, try and remember that Klein likely has better leftists credentials than you do. Carl Limbacher Jr., has some interesting observations in his article.

""I've had more political pressure than I've ever had in all my years in radio," Hannity said to Klein during a radio interview. "Do you know the number of requests I've had to cancel you and not have you on this program? I've never in the history of this program had more demands to cancel the guest."

Hannity did not identify the source of the "political pressure."

Other hosts had similar experiences. Salem Radio Network's Mike Gallagher, syndicated nationwide, said he was deluged by emails opposing Klein's scheduled appearance and demanding he drop the author. Gallagher described the campaign as "very unnatural, like an orchestrated [effort]" and not from his listeners.

But other networks, particularly television, have succumbed to the pressure.

Klein's original schedule had him appearing on several top-rated TV shows. But all of them have cancelled. Among the cancellations: "Extra;" MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews;" and CNN's Paula Zahn show.

Several shows apparently expressed a keen interest in booking Klein until pressure from the Hillary camp stopped them, among them ABC's "Good Morning America," NBC's "Today" show, and CNN's "Aaron Brown."

Still more shows were expected to sign on after the book began hitting the bestseller lists. It has done just that, but Klein's publicist's phones are still not ringing."

Three things come to mind here. Obviously there is a media bias, which becomes more evident each day. Secondly, the Clintons, for what ever reason have a hold on the MSM. The MSM certainly would have whined about cencorship if any other politician, especially a republican, had pulled what the Clintons seem to be pulling now. You can bet there will be many, many puff pieces and favorable stories on Hillary over the next 3 years. Klein will likely be trashed by his leftists buddies.

"Others are noting the media's hypocrisy in dealing with the Klein book and how the same media treated Kitty Kelley's book "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty." Kelley's book offered far more salacious allegations about George W. Bush.

The books are hardly comparable, though; Klein is a veteran, award-winning journalist known for serious, and non political biographies, while Kelley has developed a reputation as a purveyor of gossip on her targets.

Last week, Fox News host Neil Cavuto told his audience, "Kitty [Kelley] was booked on shows. Ed is getting no bookings, period ... Could it be the media relished dirt on the president, less so on the woman who wants to be president?"

With a heated presidential campaign underway last year, Kelley was given star billing on show's like NBC's "Today" show (with an unprecedented interview over three days); CNBC's "Capital Report;" CNN "Newsnight" hosted by Aaron Brown; CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight;" CNN's "American Morning" with Paula Zahn; MSNBC's "Hardball" with Chris Matthews, among others.

Though Kelley made unsubstantiated allegations, including charges of illicit sex and drug use against Bush (previously she accused President Reagan of date rape in a book that received page one coverage from the New York Times), her book drew huge media interest.

But today, Klein, once a favored media author for serious bestsellers including "All Too Human: The Love Story of Jack and Jackie Kennedy" and "Just Jackie: Her Private Years," has been banned from major TV shows."

There you have it. Another major case of media hypocricy. Of course had the book been about Bush or another republican, you can bet that Klein would have been the darling of the talk show circuit. - Sailor

Back Up and Running

After a lot of frustration and all that jazz, I have come up with a new template that works. The side bar may be very long, but it all fits together. Thanks to all of you that sent me tips and advice. Thank you for your patience. As soon as I have a nap, I will be posting again. - Sailor

There are for the moment, two sets of comments and links. Please use the second set.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Please Scroll Down Until Blogger Fixes This

I am returning to this blog template until either Blogger comes up with a solution or until I find a suitable template. In the meantime, I am looking for another place topark this blog. Thank you all for your patience. - Sailor

For some reason unknown to me, blogger leaves the title then the text does not appear until the sidebar ends. Thank you for your patience. - Sailor

Update: If anyone has a better place topark a blog, that is free, e-mail me at;


Eminant Domain

The Supreme Court effectively has delcared part of the Fifth Amendment null and void. In it's ruling on eminant domain, the Courts liberals ,along with what ever leanings Justice Kennedy has, have expanded eminant domain from siezing private property for public works, towhat ever a town or city decides it wants to do with private property. Private proprty rights in this country are on their death bed, based on this ruling. The Fifth Amendment, does not grant eminant domain, it restricts it. Or, it used to. Here is OpinionJournal's take on the ruling.

"The Supreme Court's "liberal" wing has a reputation in some circles as a guardian of the little guy and a protector of civil liberties. That deserves reconsideration in light of yesterday's decision in Kelo v. City of New London. The Court's four liberals (Justices Stevens, Breyer, Souter and Ginsburg) combined with the protean Anthony Kennedy to rule that local governments have more or less unlimited authority to seize homes and businesses.

No one disputes that this power of "eminent domain" makes sense in limited circumstances; the Constitution's Fifth Amendment explicitly provides for it. But the plain reading of that Amendment's "takings clause" also appears to require that eminent domain be invoked only when land is required for genuine "public use" such as roads. It further requires that the government pay owners "just compensation" in such cases.

The founding fathers added this clause to the Fifth Amendment--which also guarantees "due process" and protects against double jeopardy and self-incrimination--because they understood that there could be no meaningful liberty in a country where the fruits of one's labor are subject to arbitrary government seizure.

That protection was immensely diminished by yesterday's 5-4 decision, which effectively erased the requirement that eminent domain be invoked for "public use." The Court said that the city of New London, Connecticut, was justified in evicting a group of plaintiffs led by homeowner Susette Kelo from their properties to make way for private development including a hotel and a Pfizer Corp. office. (Yes, the pharmaceutical Pfizer.) The properties to be seized and destroyed include Victorian homes and small businesses that have been in families for generations."

Now towns and cities can run amok using eminant domain to siexe private property for what ever reason they determine will be be for the "public good". In a city such as Las Vegas, this will have very serious implications as the city is ever growing and always on the look out for properties adjacent to the Strip and downtown. As if the likes of Steve Wynn and Donald Trump need the city tocondemn land for their casinoand hotel projects.

"And it's not just the "public use" requirement of the Fifth Amendment that's undermined by Kelo. So too is the guarantee of "just compensation." Why? Because there is no need to invoke eminent domain if developers are willing to pay what owners themselves consider just compensation.

Just compensation may differ substantially from so-called fair market value given the sentimental and other values many of us attach to our homes and other property. Even eager sellers will be hurt by Kelo, since developers will have every incentive to lowball their bids now that they can freely threaten to invoke eminent domain."

Developers will now be able to influence the citiy governments to take private property and in effect, be able to lowball "just compensation". Talk about opening the door for graft and influencing campaigns by making donations to politicians that would be developer friendly. So much for campaign finance reform.

"So, in just two weeks, the Supreme Court has rendered two major decisions on the limits of government. In Raich v. Gonzales the Court said there are effectively no limits on what the federal government can do using the Commerce Clause as a justification. In Kelo, it's now ruled that there are effectively no limits on the predations of local governments against private property.

These kinds of judicial encroachments on liberty are precisely why Supreme Court nominations have become such high-stakes battles. If President Bush is truly the "strict constructionist" he professes to be, he will take note of the need to check this disturbing trend should he be presented with a High Court vacancy."

All the more reason for the next Justices of the Supreme Court to be very strict constructionists. Those that whine about losing freedoms under the Patriot Act, should be up in arms over this latest SCOTUS ruling. - Sailor

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Why the Rebels (Terrorists) Will Lose

Every day you see some headline, some where in the MSM, about a bombing of some sort in Iraq. You see headlines screaming about the slow progress in establishing a constitution and other governmental responsibilities. (Just a note here, some one should ask the MSM how long it took America to establish her government and Constitution.) The MSM, dem/libs, leftists, terrorist appeasers and ass kissers, and assorted others, gleefully point to polls showing the American people are supporting our efforts in Iraq less and less. This constant bombardment of negative news, without any attempt to balance this with all the positive things going on Iraq, is taking a toll. The fact of the matter is, the terrorists are losing and losing big time. They are alienating the Iraqi people with their assualt on Iraqi civilians. Since the majority of these so called "insurgents" are foreign terrorists, they really do not care whom they kill. Max Boot gord into some detail as to why the "rebels" are losing in his commentary.

"Support for the insurgency is confined to a minority within a minority — a small portion of Sunni Arabs, who make up less than 20% of the population. The only prominent non-Sunni rebel, Muqtada Sadr, has quietly joined the political process. The 80% of the population that is Shiite and Kurdish is implacably opposed to the rebellion, which is why most of the terror has been confined to four of 18 provinces.

Unlike in successful guerrilla wars, the rebels in Iraq have not been able to control large chunks of "liberated" territory. The best they could do was to hold Fallouja for six months last year. Nor have they been able to stage successful large-scale attacks like the Viet Cong did. A major offensive against Abu Ghraib prison on April 2 ended without a single U.S. soldier killed or a single Iraqi prisoner freed, while an estimated 60 insurgents were slain.

The biggest weakness of the insurgency is that it is morphing from a war of national liberation into a revolutionary struggle against an elected government. That's a crucial difference. Since 1776, wars of national liberation have usually succeeded because nationalism is such a strong force. Revolutions against despots, from Czar Nicholas II to the shah of Iran, often succeed too, because there is no way to redress grievances within the political process. Successful uprisings against elected governments are much rarer because leaders with political legitimacy can more easily rally the population and accommodate aggrieved elements."

The Iraqi people spoke at the polls. Despite the violence and threats of violence, they came out in droves to vote. The Sunni minority, which boycotted the elections, has come to realize that the political process passed them by and they are now clamoring tobe involved. Democracy is not an easy road, especially after decades of repression. It will also be a very bumpy road, as the Iraqis have the successes and failures. Our own trip down the Democracy raod was not an easy one either.

"So far, progress has been rapid on the political front and not-so-rapid in the deployment of security forces, which the coalition didn't emphasize until last year. We are finally seeing the emergence of some impressive Iraqi units, such as the Wolf Brigade commandos, who pursue insurgents all over the country, and the 302nd National Guard Battalion, which has pacified Haifa Street, a onetime insurgent stronghold in Baghdad.

The biggest advantage the insurgents still have, aside from their total disdain for human life, is that they can get reinforcements from abroad to make up for their heavy losses. The coalition needs to do a better job of policing the Syrian border and pressuring Damascus to crack down on the influx of jihadis.

But even if the border gets sealed, pacifying Iraq will be a long, hard slog that will ultimately be up to the Iraqis. The U.S. needs to show a little patience. If we don't cut and run prematurely, Iraqi democracy can survive its birth pangs."

More and more intelligence on the movements and identies of the terrorist in Iraq is coming from the Iraqi people. Military operations on the Syrian border are cutting down on the number of foreign terrorists entering Iraq. For those that whine and cry about how porous the Iraqi border is and use that as an arguement that we are losing, I point them to our own porous Southern border.

It will not be tomorrow when the Iraqi people are ready to stand on their own. This is not a short or easy process. To those that gnash their teeth over our committment tothe Iraqi people, I will tell them to look at the committment this country made to Germany and Japan after World War II. I defy them to tell me that the world is not a better place because of those committments. A functioning democracy in the heart of the middle east, is one of our best hopes for continued victories in the war on terror. - Sailor

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Debunking Another Gitmo Myth

The left and some others have beem whining, moaning and gnashing their teeth over the detainees at Gitmo, claiming they have not had trials. Once again, this assorted group keeps equating war to a criminal justice matter. But wait, each of these detainees has had a legal hearing, in the form of a military tribunal. Michelle Malkin gives some details in her commentary. The Washington Times also weighs in in an editorial. From Michelle Malkin's commentary:

" Gitmo-bashers attack the Bush administration's failure to abide by the Geneva Conventions. But as legal analysts Lee Casey and Darin Bartram told me, "the status hearings are, in fact, fully comparable to the 'Article V' hearings required by the Geneva Conventions, in situations where those treaties apply, and are also fully consistent with the Supreme Court's 2004 decision in the Hamdi v. Rumsfeld case."

Treating foreign terrorists like American shoplifters -- with full access to civilian lawyers, classified intelligence, and all the attendant rights of a normal jury trial -- is a surefire recipe for another 9/11. That is why the Bush administration fought so hard to erect an alternative tribunal system -- long established in wartime -- in the first place."

From the Washingtion Times' editorial:

" If the critics are right, and detained terrorists have an inalienable right to access U.S. courts, then they have created a new standard -- one which has no precedent in the Geneva Conventions, the Constitution or U.S. history. Even worse, as Mr. Barr suggested, it is a standard that would effectively make victory in the war on terror impossible.

"For every platoon of combat troops, the United States would have to field three platoons of lawyers, investigators and paralegals," Mr. Barr said. "Such a result would inject legal uncertainty into our military operations, divert resources from winning the war into demonstrating the individual 'fault' of persons confronted in the field of battle."

The critics, who are currently enjoying an increase in support from the right, of course couch their radical stance in terms of due process, as if what they are asking is the most ordinary thing in the world. And indeed, for American citizens it is. But never has the United States granted detained combatants this right. During World War II, for instance, the United States held hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war without charge, without legal representation and without a means to contest their designation as legal combatants taken on the battlefield.

This history conforms with the Geneva Conventions, as long as the detainee qualified as a legal combatant. If not, a detainee's rights as defined in the Geneva Conventions are considerably less. The reasons for this are simple. Article 4 of the convention on treatment of prisoners of war identifies a legal combatant as someone who fights under a recognized state which adheres to the Geneva Conventions; wears a fixed insignia or uniform; carries his arms openly; and conducts operations in accordance with the laws of war -- which rules out terrorists"

The recurring theme here is that there are those, mostly leftists that continue to attempt to equate war with criminal justice issues. The war on terror is not a criminal justice matter. It was that type of treatment of terrorism that contributed to 9/11. War is not limited to nation/states, but can also be applied to groups bent on bringing violence and death tothe citizens of this country. There is ample precedent for this. President Thomas Jefferson declared war of the barbary Pirates, a latter day terroris organiztion that preyed on Americans. There is also sufficient precedent for military tribunals. It is high time that these terrorist appeasers, enablers, ass kissers and those that seem utterly confused to get off the attmept to apply civil law to eradicating terrorism. - Sailor

Monday, June 20, 2005

The other day, I received some sad news from my good friend, Doc Farmer. His mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Doc has written a column about this and I ask you all to keep Doc and his family in your thoughts and prayers. He and his family will be going through a very difficult time. - Sailor

My Mom Has Alzheimer's
Written by Doc Farmer
Monday, June 20, 2005

Author's Note: My apologies to my regular readers. I haven't written for a while, but putting this article together has taken a lot of time. It's a bit difficult writing this article, as the title probably suggests. After reading this, I hope you'll understand why…

My Mom, who is proud to state that she is 75 years of age, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Well, to be accurate, they've diagnosed her as possibly having Alzheimer's. Apparently, the only way doctors can be 100% sure is to perform an autopsy. Frankly, I'm quite happy to wait for the "definitive" diagnosis, if that's all the same to everybody.

Mom has always had memory problems of one form or another. Problems that my sisters and I (and you as well, I'd wager) have also had to face. You know the kind I mean. Getting up to do something in another room and then, when you get there, forgetting why you came in there. Saying something to someone and then forgetting what the heck you were talking about half-way through (which has happened to me
in the middle of a speech!). I still recall in my childhood, before we ever took any family trip (even to the grocery store) Mom always had to pray to the household gods - "Oh, my God, did I turn off the stove?", "Oh, my God, did I put out that cigarette?", "Oh, my God, did I activate the tripwire for the claymores by the front door in case somebody selling The Watchtower comes by while we're gone?", and so forth.

Actually, the reason our family is in this particular pickle is partly my fault.

When I lost my job in
Qatar, as most of my readers know, my folks were kind enough to put me up in their home until I found another employer (and another flat). I'd been gone for over a dozen years, so Mom's memory change was a bit more of a shock
to me. She'd repeat the same stories over and over that my Dad and I had heard ad nauseum. She'd forget the small and simple stuff more and more often. Her motivation in life, or just in doing the "little things" around the home, was waning. I kept noticing the patterns, and in traditional Farmer Family Fashion I took action.

I nagged.

Yup. In a stunning (and thoroughly enjoyable) payback for all those times Mom gave me seven kinds of hell in my youth for the disgusting state of my bedroom, I started vexing her. Get to the doctor, I said. Have your hundreds of prescriptions checked for adverse interactions, I badgered. Get a memory test, I henpecked (or, in my case, roosterpecked). I annoyed, pestered, importuned, plagued, prodded, hounded, heckled, goaded, noodged (yes, that really is a word), urged, badgered and penny dogged that poor woman until, finally, she agreed to ask
the doctor at her next appointment.

And then when she got to the doctor, she forgot to ask.

About 25 years ago, when Alzheimer's started getting into the national mindset, Mom was worried that she had it. She was always forgetting where her keys were. And the car. And the parking lot. She worried and fretted about it back then, but then her doctor informed her that if she really had Alzheimer's, she wouldn't know it.

Well, she has it now. And she absolutely knows it. I can see the fear in her eyes when I see her now. "Will I remember this moment?" is the question that shouts from her mind loud enough for me to hear. It's the unspoken comment, the elephant in the living room, which all of us do our best to ignore. Well, we can't ignore it any more.

By the way, if you're worried about a family member, the seven warning signs of Alzheimer's disease (according to are -

1. Asking the same question over and over again.

2. Repeating the same story, word for word, again and again.

3. Forgetting how to cook, or how to make repairs, or how to play cards - activities that were previously done with ease and regularity.

4. Losing one's ability to pay bills or balance one's checkbook (this one doesn't apply to Mom - she could always pay the bills, but Dad and I could NEVER figure out her checkbook).

5. Getting lost in familiar surroundings, or misplacing household objects.

6. Neglecting to bathe, or wearing the same clothes over and over again, while insisting that they have taken a bath or that their clothes are still clean (Mom doesn't have this problem either).

7. Relying on someone else, such as a spouse, to make decisions or answer questions they previously would have handled themselves.

However, there are other warning signs the Alzheimer's group missed, that you should watch out for -

8. Inability to notice that 24-hour cable news networks are repetitive - every CNN or Fox News story seems brand new.

9. Forgetting that Monday is pork chop night.

10. Actually believing that "Everybody Loves Raymond" is funny.

11. Withdrawing from mental activities that were once pleasurable, like reading or crossword puzzles.

12. Repeating story lines and plot points from "As The Stomach Turns" (which means that this disease has been building up in Mom since April 2, 1956).

Since the diagnosis, I've noticed that her memory is more sporadic. She'll forget some things from her past (like how she was taught in her youth that "MAD" magazine was actually a communist front in order to discourage my interest in the publication). However, she remembers other things with crystal clarity (like her relief that my apartment has its own washer/dryer, because she doesn't want me to catch VD from the washing machines in a public laundromat). She'll forget what she had for dinner last night, but will remember with eidetic (and, indeed, frightening) precision the layout of downtown Fort Wayne from 1947. She'll forget my name from time to time when inventorying the
siblings, but will still remember our dog Smokie in the list (which I don't mind too much - I miss Smokie as well!).

Mom's now taking medications to help slow the progress of the plaque buildup on the synapses in her hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Apparently, flossing won't work in this particular case. While the memory degradation has slowed somewhat, it hasn't stopped. Nor will it. Mom's having to deal with the side effects as well - dizziness, weight loss, some limb weakness and suchlike. And this is just Stage One of the disease.

However, Alzheimer's isn't an individual disease. It's a family one. While my mother is living with the actual illness, my sisters and my father are having to cope as well. Dad, while hardly Job-like, is still a generally patient man. Generally. However, Alzheimer's tests the patience of any family. He gets frustrated that Mom doesn't get out as much as she should, or read as much as she should, or
even help with the small stuff around the house.

My eldest sister, who still lives in
Fort Wayne, provides assistance as much as possible. Since she's the most conveniently located sibling, she helps our folks with things like doctors appointments (going in with Mom so that she doesn't forget to ask things). My middle sister, who lives in southern Ohio, and I do our best to provide support considering the distance.

I've already talked to Dad about helping out in the future, when Mom requires more direct assistance. I don't know if that'll mean getting a part-time nurse to help out
around the house, or having Mom put into assisted care. I've already talked to my boss about possibly changing my work hours so that I can go back to
Fort Wayne more often to help out around the house.

I don't know how much insurance coverage my folks have to help them face this disease. I do know that what insurance doesn't handle, my sisters and I will (as best we can). But there are other questions that arise. Will Mom need to be institutionalized in the future? How will we handle things if Dad dies first? The stress on him can't be helping his health all that much. What do we do if Mom becomes violent, which can happen in Alzheimer's cases? I found out recently that she asked Dad to take her guns and lock them away. She was very angry at a person who had been harming a close
friend of hers, and she was afraid she'd call a taxi and go shoot the guy. Had I know about this earlier, I would have happily sent her cab fare (round trip), but that's another issue of course.

Then there are the more direct emotional issues to deal with. Mom is worried about forgetting us, and we share that fear. The only real comfort I have is that while the mechanism of memory may fail (the brain) the memories themselves are stored inviolate in the soul. So, when she dies, her memories will all flood back as her spirit is released. She'll also, finally, get all those jokes that she hasn't understood over the decades, which is an added bonus.

I know that this disease will, eventually, be the cause of her demise. I don't fear her death, mainly because I accepted my parents' mortality (and my own) many years ago. I'm not too thrilled about the process of her death of course, but we don't really get to choose that one. However, Mom and Dad have already
taken care of their funeral arrangements and costs well ahead of time. The eulogy and church services are pretty much set, except for the date of course. Although after the pastor finishes delivering the eulogy, I do plan to request equal time for rebuttal.

I've noticed nowadays that when I tell friends or coworkers that Mom has Alzheimer's, they treat the news in the same way they would react to a death in the family. Which, in point of fact, this is. Just really slow.

One thing I am learning about Alzheimer's that is a bit disturbing is that it appears to run in family lines. In my mother's case, her mom (my maternal grandmother) had three sisters, one still living, and a brother with Alzheimer's and her dad had a sister and nephew with it. I don't know how much genetic work has been done in that regard, but I'd personally like to get Mom tested to see if there is a genetic marker. Same for my sisters, myself, and our offspring. (Actually, I don't think my ex-wife
will agree to supplying the DNA data for my kids. She's currently trying to have them cloned in order to extend my child support payments, so I doubt she'd be well disposed to help....) If there is a marker, I'd like to know now so that early testing and detailed CAT/PET/MRI scans can start to track the disease before it kicks in. I don't know if there even is a genetic marker yet, but the DNA information we donate could help to find it. If your family has a history of Alzheimer's, I'd recommend this action as well.

Mom's got a long road ahead of her, as does my Dad and the rest of my family. It won't be an easy road, but we'll get through it together - mainly because we have no other choice, but also because that's just the way we are.

About the Writer:
Doc Farmer is a writer and humorist who is also a moderator on ChronWatch's Forum. He formerly lived in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but now resides in the Midwest. Doc
receives e-mail at

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