So That's Why King Abdullah Visited the White House Last Week
I'm still trying to learn all I can about Chalabi, and here's something from the New York Post to explain why the White House dumped him this week.
Jordan's King Abdullah fueled the U.S. move against Iraqi leader Ahmed Chalabi by providing bombshell intelligence that his group was spying for Iran, The Post has learned.
An explosive dossier that the Jordanian monarch recently brought with him to White House sessions with President Bush detailed Mafia-style extortion rackets and secret information on U.S. military operations being passed to Iran, diplomats said.
Needless to say, it reflects poorly on those in the Administration who sided with this guy. (Powell and Armitage are said to have opposed his "assistance" from the start.) But, in the game of chess, there's always sacrifices of pawns and strategic feints. Was he selling us out or were we setting him up? I don't know yet.
If those who are constantly serving up and dining on Abu Ghraib from dawn to dusk weren't such worthless turds, I'd say we might actually have a story here worth our attention. I know it's not going to have the same exciting photos to jerk off to, but maybe y'all can give it a shot. Whadda ya say, Big Media?
"First He's Gonna Shit, Then He's Gonna Kill Us!"
Damn! You ought to read about Marine Captain Brian R. Chontosh ---devil dog like a mug!
While leading his platoon north on Highway 1 toward Ad Diwaniyah, Chontosh's platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons fire. With coalitions tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone.
He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, Chontosh ordered the driver to advance directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy.
He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack.
When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers.
When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.
Capt. Chontosh has been awarded the Navy Cross for his great bravery. What a bad-ass.
"Incriminating Pocket Litter"
The US military continues to insist that the ass-kicking we delivered to those desert rats near the Syrian border earlier this week was not a wedding party. It's looking more and more like this is, in fact, the case.
Senior coalition military spokesman said that dozens of people killed in a U.S. attack in the Iraqi desert early Wednesday were attending a high-level meeting of foreign fighters, not a wedding. Photos shown to reporters in Baghdad support that contention.
Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said six women were among the dead, but he said there is no evidence any children died in the raid near the Syrian border. Coalition officials have said as many as 40 people were killed.
Kimmitt said that video showing dead children killed was actually recorded in Ramadi, far from the attack scene.
"There may have been some kind of celebration," Kimmitt said. "Bad people have celebrations too. Bad people have parties too."
If you know what's good for you, you'll check out Amir Teheri's recent public remarks on the incompatibility of democracy and Islam. It's a truly impressive argument throughout.
Muslims should not be duped into believing that they can have their cake and eat it. Muslims can build democratic society provided they treat Islam as a matter of personal, private belief and not as a political ideology that seeks to monopolise the public space and regulate every aspect of individual and community life.
Ladies and gentlemen: Islam is incompatible with democracy.
More on Gas
My man Charles Krauthammer (easily the best name in all of punditry) has a thought or two on what needs to be done about the gasoline crisis. But it ain't gonna please the hoi polloi.
(That's you and me, jackson.)
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 10:46 AM CDT
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Updated: Saturday, 22 May 2004 10:47 AM CDT
The Washington Post: "Convention as Farce"
Even the Washington Post thinks that Kerry's idea to delay his acceptance of the Democratic Party's nomination in order to keep spending as he wants is crap.
And how is he supposed to sell that thing, anyway? Have a huge convention in Boston, all at the taxpayers' expense (not to mention the security costs and inconvenience it imposes on the locals), and not even have the decency to formally accept the nomination, which is why the convention is held in the first place? What balls.
I can just see the documentaries in the years to come, showing those dramatic moments when nominees accept their parties' nominations ---but with Kerry proudly proclaiming that he will delay his own acceptance so that he can keep on spending primary campaign funds. How cynical! How embarrassing!
Little Green Footballs: "Berg's Dad Dishonors His Son" Mood:
Do you want to see how the anti-war Left operates? Michael Berg, the anti-war activist, is using his son Nick's death as propaganda against the President. Disgusting.
I very much wish your son hadn't been decapitated, Mr. Berg, but there is little doubt in my mind that those sorry fucks knew what sort of worthless turd you are because they probably squeezed that information out of your son over the course of torturing him. Do you doubt that they murdered him in the way they did in hopes that you would respond as you have?
And in case you're wondering why Michael Berg hasn't been more prominently displayed by Big Media like the trophy mourner he is, it's because those filthy sell-outs know how bloody their own hands would be if they went all out with it. Don't call it a pang of conscience, though: call it smart business.
Fuck 'em all.
UPDATE: I forgot to include this bit of wisdom from Mr. Berg:
People ask me why I focus on putting the blame for my son's tragic and atrocious end on the Bush administration. They ask: "Don't you blame the five men who killed him?" I have answered that I blame them no more or less than the Bush administration, but I am wrong: I am sure, knowing my son, that somewhere during their association with him these men became aware of what an extraordinary man my son was. I take comfort that when they did the awful thing they did, they weren't quite as in to it as they might have been. I am sure that they came to admire him.
I am sure that the one who wielded the knife felt Nick's breath on his hand and knew that he had a real human being there. I am sure that the others looked into my son's eyes and got at least a glimmer of what the rest of the world sees. And I am sure that these murderers, for just a brief moment, did not like what they were doing.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 3:03 AM CDT
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Updated: Saturday, 22 May 2004 3:27 AM CDT
Friday, 21 May 2004
It's difficult to tell what's going on with Chalabi and the raid on his house last night, but Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute has some very interesting things to say about why Jerry Bremer messed up when he ordered the raid.
All I ever knew about Chalabi is that he is a world-class thief (they say if the Jordanians ever get their mitts on him, he's done) and that he was supposed to have been widely regarded by Iraqis in the run-up to the war as America's would-be puppet. Which is why I figured that there would be little outrage over this dressing down since most Iraqis, presumably, would be pleased to see the puppet get his desserts. But that may not be. He is, after all, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, and Rubin says that the raid on his home and office will be seen as a real demonstration of America's lack of loyalty with its friends. But that should have been clear enough last week when he lost his huge monthly allowance from Uncle Sugar.
Who knows what the fuck is going on? Throwing Chalabi over may have been a bad move, but it may be nothing compared to our courting this Lakhdar Brahami character from the UN. He may be one of our worst moves yet.
I don't know much at all about how the world of petroleum markets and regulations and such work, but it's a good idea to get edumacated about it ---especially when they're applying some industrial-grade lubricant to my sweet ass every time I fill up.
But what to do? I don't know. Tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to stabilize prices is nothing but a Democratic trick, frankly. After all, we would have to seriously deplete the SPR to really even make a dent in prices ---and at the risk of exposing ourselves to possible future disruptions in the foreign supply. Doubt that could happen in these days of warfare in the Middle East and potential terrorism comitted against our own refineries? Let's not risk it. Our economy would be crippled if enough of our refining capacity and/or crude imports were threatened at once.
The only real solutions seem to be long-term: Higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars with conventional combustion engines; tax abatements and such for the purchase of hybrid vehicles; real incentives to research, develop, and employ alternative energy sources for non-automobile uses; and disincentives for buying your wife a goddamned Humvee to take Jason and Caitlin to soccer practice on her way to the spa.
This ain't the 1950s, beeyotch. The drunken orgy of the SUV is about to either come to an end or find a smarter ride home.
Abusing Arab Prisoners
Not that I care, except for its value as a counter-example, but read this article about the way Arafat's goons are treating their own people in Gaza.
Arab prisoners beaten and tortured, innocent bystanders killed by gunfire - another damning human rights report.
But the difference this time is that the violence is being perpetrated not by coalition forces in Iraq, but by the Palestinian Authority, and the victims are its own people.
The report, partly funded by the Finnish government, claims Palestinian cities are in a state of near anarchy, with people on the payroll of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA) blamed for 90 per cent of gangland violence.
Gas Prices and My Left Nut ...of Fury
In the past day, the price of regular unleaded in my area has jumped a dime. Can you believe that shit? It's unacceptable.
Some of the financial pages suggest that the improving economy is partly responsible for this outrageous instance of inflation, but I just don't buy it. How does that work? Not that I have a grasp of economics any firmer than a baby's handshake, but let's get serious: the petroleum industry is using the war for Iraq as a rationale for manufacturing a crisis of scarcity. Maybe that makes me sound like a Left-wing conspiracist, but what should we be thinking otherwise? "It's not a lack of crude, but of refining capacity." Yeah? Well, why's that? Did the world's oil producers suddenly forget that the summer driving season is almost upon us?
Oil output should be up. Iraq is back online ---and even legally! I know that the general trend is for Americans to pay more for their gas. The days of dollar-a-gallon gasoline are behind us forever. But I have never seen a jump this fucking high in my life. I'm just not buying the conventional wisdom on this. There's obviously some shenanigans afoot ---but I'm just not smart enough to pin the tail on the donkey.
Not Believing My Ears for Like Ten Minutes Mood:
I still can't believe what I just saw on Joe Scarborough's MSNBC program: there was Alan Dershowitz ---advocating torture in the interrogation of terrorists. He even called all of the outrage over the Abu Ghraib scandal an outrage in itself.
What the fuck? Did that just happen?
Ha, ha, ha. Man, does that go a long way towards rehabilitating my very low opinion of that guy!
Wall-to-Wall Prisoner Abuse
Is it settling down at all? I can hardly watch the goddamned TV news anymore for all the ridiculous Abu Ghraib scandal coverage. It's disgusting that America's Big Media should spend so much time and energy on this when it's obvious to anyone that it's only being pursued so obsessively because of the political damage it is doing to Bush.
In the meantime, Kerry could roger a nun in the middle of the Capitol rotunda and no one would notice.
What do you suppose the average Iraqi would think if he knew that the ratio of our media coverage of Abu Ghraib to the assassination of the president of their Governing Council is about 200:1? Maybe it would surprise him. Maybe as much as knowing how far Leftists will go to ignore and excuse the brutality of the Saddamites.
Fouad Ajami has written a useful article on why it was a mistake for President Bush to apologize to the King of Jordan for the abuses at Abu Ghraib (which even I thought was a strange audience) and, all the more importantly, why it's an even bigger mistake to trust this UN envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, to do right by the Shiites.
I know that we have to put a non-American face on this occupation and liberation of Iraq, but let's not give away the store. Maybe Bush figures that, if the UN has some involvement, it will be seen as a concession to "multilateralism," which, if it fails, can be blamed, in part, on that same factor. But I don't see how average Iraqis can have much confidence in anything the UN does when that corrupt organization did all it could to keep them in bondage under Saddam.
30 June is not very far away now, and we have to have a few of our loose ends tied up in the meantime. Let's hope the merchant classes in the holy cities have the stroke to neutralize al-Sadr. Let's work to finish strong in Fallujah and consolidate our gains in the north and south. There are a lot of problems still, but most Americans aren't hearing the many, many good stories coming out of Iraq. We're not seeing, on the whole, that peace and prosperity are flourishing everywhere in Iraq that the insurgents and terrorists are not.
Don't lose the war, President Bush, just because the Left and their heroes in the terrorist cells are dominating the news. That would be a distortion leading to catastrophe.
Man, I used to have such a boner for Janeane Garofalo! But she's gone plum loco with this anti-Bush stuff. She told Jon Stewart a couple days ago that voting for Bush, at this point, is a "character flaw." Hmm. I guess that's no different from my dictum that a vote for John Kerry is a vote for those who hate America.
But I wish that Leftists and liberals who are supposed to be the champions of civil and human liberties would introduce some balance into their understanding of what the war for Iraq is all about. These people can't honestly deny that Iraq will, with time and effort, be a far more liberated and democratized society, but they deny it, anyway. Are they even aware of what Saddam and the Ba'athists did for more than three decades of rule? There's no need to run again through the catalogue of terror and torture that those psychopaths used to cement their control over the Iraqi people; their monstrous ways are known to the whole world.
So how is it that people like Garofalo can ignore what was done before and stomp up and down on the mistakes this Administration and our military have made on our way to improving the lives of the many good parts of Iraqi society?
It is all about politics and hating Bush.
Therefore, it is unprincipled because it is unthinking. None of these flakes and moonbats can honestly say that the United Nations was a serious actor in bringing Saddam to heel. A lot of them will agree that the Butcher of Baghdad was an evil man and even more of them might have concurred with UN action to remove him, but after a dozen years of sanctions that were only harming the Iraqi people and enriching Saddam and his corrupt partners in Europe and the UN, what alternatives were there? When the United States pushed for a final resolution to the ongoing problem, these Leftist pussies suddenly became resistant. They aped France and held those who were opposed to doing the right thing in contempt. These sort of hypocrites sicken me.
A lot of mistakes get made in the prosecution of any war. But this isn't evidence of incompetence or disregard; rather, it is an unfortunate happenstance of engaging in a very brutal business. Why undermine what our brave men and women have to do to bring this war to a successful end by constantly and gleefully bitching about their excesses? Which of us who have never served can say that we would behave any better? It's almost inhuman to be so ignorant of human nature and to idealize some lofty standards that no one can actually achieve.
I despise those who cannot see the necessity of waging this war. They do not have any answers for what should have been done instead. Leave Saddam alone, only to see his disastrous government pass to one of his two psychopathic sons some day? Leave the sanctions in place, slowly starving and depriving the Iraqi people for another dozen or two dozen years? Leave the autocratic tyrannies of the Middle East to their own brutal devices, enabling them to someday develop every kind of weapon that a peaceful world should most fear?
History will show that what George W. Bush has done is a great service to mankind. He has put his foot down in the middle of a region where apocalyptic nonsense and homicidal xenophobia is the prevailing standard. If we succeed, those countries will never have the ability to wage nuclear or biological warfare against us or our friends. They will become free societies where the influence of modern democratic principles will keep the psychopathy of Islamofascism at bay.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 7:20 PM CDT
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Updated: Thursday, 20 May 2004 7:24 PM CDT
Wednesday, 19 May 2004
Andrew Sullivan Is Right
Andrew Sullivan is right, of course: President Bush has done a terrible job of keeping the American people focused on the war for Iraq. He seemingly never speaks to us about the particulars of any given crisis there, which leaves the majority of the public largely ignorant and an informed minority in the posture of either apologizing or second-guessing. The President owes it to the American people to be intellectually engaged in the resolution of these conflicts and to give his supporters a greater sense of confidence that he is aware of what setbacks we are suffering and has ideas in mind for us to come through them. Instead, he is constantly bogged down in belated and reactionary damage control. This is not a way to win a war.
What I Told Steve Soto at The Left Coaster If you want to stop the war so much, Steve, why don't you and your fellow travelers focus some of your attention on the good things that are being accomplished in Iraq? Too much trouble? Too much fun to be had in gloating over the failures and tragedies befalling our own servicemen? I know, I know: ABB.
If the Leftists in the media (who have apparently forgotten that advocating human rights is supposed to be one of their guiding principles) would simply stop taking their orders from the al-Sadr Press Syndicate for five minutes, they might realize that a positive message will move the Iraqis to a higher standard of expectation. But if all that matters is undermining our efforts there by giving the insurgents and terrorists an incentive to use Big Media even more, then the time that will have to be spent imposing stability through force will be prolonged.
Don't believe that your treachery is a help. Don't believe that you have a right or civic obligation to relish our problems in Iraq. Don't believe that Kerry is a solution to any problem. You are utterly wrong.
This war will end when the dead-enders no longer have sympathizers doing their bidding here.
"But Dey Likes de White Womens!"
Interestingly enough, even Il Papa and his Vatican don't want nice Catholic girls marrying Muslim boys. Why? Because a woman is "the least protected member of the Muslim family."
The Vatican are an interesting bunch of folks, especially with the names of their committees, like the one that put this latest pronouncement out, called the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. (Their book, "The Love of Christ Towards Migrants," is characterized as a "pamphlet" ---but at 80 pages? Come on!).
When Christianity asserts its parameters, enlightened critics call it bigoted and, uh, unecumenical. When Islam insists on the infallibility of its doctrines, those same people look the other way and don't talk about what jihad actually is or about the historical role dhimmis have been forced into. A real double-standard is at work in the land of the secular.
I just like the way these Vatican folks talk, though. It's so doctrinaire:
"If Catholics do choose to marry Muslims, the document says, they must be sure to baptize their children and avoid signing Islamic documents or swearing oaths, including the "shahada," Islam's profession of faith."