The Old Man
This is a picture of my old man when he was a young man.
He passed away ten years ago tonight.
I don't think I've done much in the decade since that awful night that would genuinely have made him proud, but I certainly don't think that he would be ashamed of me. Maybe just a little disapppointed that I should have so little ambition.
But life is long and my pace is not his. There is time enough to make him proud ---and that is what I will choose to believe.
I miss that man beyond words. But so long as I live, so does he. Whatever I accomplish is his, too.
I give thanks to him tonight that I exist. That is the first thing any son must do.
Some Unusual Crap
The guys over at the Power Line direct my attention to this article by Murray Waas in the National Journal on the undying subject of the Plame Unpleasantness (emphasis mine):
The Plame affair was not so much a reflection of any personal animus toward Wilson or Plame, says one former senior administration official who knows most of the principals involved, but rather the direct result of long-standing antipathy toward the CIA by Cheney, Libby, and others involved. They viewed Wilson's outspoken criticism of the Bush administration as an indirect attack by the spy agency.
And why shouldn't they, Murray? It was George Tenet and his miserable bunch of lawyers who referred this nonsense to the Department of Justice after his agency basically allowed Wilson to run his fucking mouth to anyone who would listen to him talk about Niger.
At this point, it would take a lot to convince me that Tenet wasn't ratfucking the White House on the WMD issue.
Those grievances were also perhaps illustrated by comments that Vice President Cheney himself wrote on one of [Douglas] Feith's reports detailing purported evidence of links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. In barely legible handwriting, Cheney wrote in the margin of the report:
"This is very good indeed … Encouraging … Not like the crap we are all so used to getting out of CIA."
Of course, what fascinates me most about all of this is that it's the anti-war/anti-intelligence Leftists who are sticking up for the CIA. Have you noticed that? They will sometimes lapse into their usual mode and even criticize the Company for its incompetence, but most of the time these days, the anti-Bush Left are perfectly happy to find heroes like Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson coming in from the cold to help them undermine this Administration.
Expediency is the the new ethic, see.
As for whether Saddam was linked to al-Qaeda, I have only one name for you: Zarqawi. There's your answer, friends. If you can explain Zarqawi's activities in Iraq in the aftermath of the War for Afghanistan without involving the Saddamites' collusions, then it may be you who is manipulating the evidence.
This Is Me Giving You the Finger, Animal Lovers Mood:
Have I mentioned lately that people who are better with their pets than they are with other people are actually goddamned sociopaths? No, really; it's true. Dressing them up and posing with them for Christmas photos? Talking about them glowingly and attributing human qualities to their behavior? Spending more quality time and generally showing more care and concern for their welfare than for that of their own family?
The Left believes in the perfectability of the individual by elevation of the State.
The Right believes in the perfectability of the State by elevation of the individual.
Therefore, Leftists are more naturally inclined to favor the ideology of Islamist absolutism, where the individual is subsumed into the community; and Rightists are more naturally inclined to the liberalism of Christian doctrine, which teaches free will and personal redemption.
That is to say, the American Left are true dhimmis. How they would reconcile themselves to the homophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny of Islam is something I'd rather not suffer to see.
The Old Man to Be Now Playing: "New York Mining Disaster 1941" by the Bee Gees
I just got back from having coffee with three of my oldest friends, one of whom is celebrating his birthday today. He is also celebrating the news that he will be a father come next summer.
I am very proud of you, K. You're gonna make a great dad because you're a gentle soul who's all about the beauty of the world. You ---and J. and E. (because they share it, too)--- cannot fail to impart that love to your child.
The Wisdom of Anger
Charles Johnson points me to Mark Steyn's latest masterpiece. This time, Steyn wonders about Zarqawi's decision to bomb those hotels in Amman:
True, he did manage to kill a couple of dozen Muslims. But what's the strategic value of that? Presumably, it's an old-fashioned mob heavy's way of keeping the locals in line. And that worked out well, didn't it? Hundreds of thousands of Zarqawi's fellow Jordanians fill the streets to demand his death.
Did they show that on the BBC? Or are demonstrations only news when they're anti-Bush and anti-Blair? And look at it this way: if the "occupation" is so unpopular in Iraq, where are the mass demonstrations against that? I'm not talking 200,000, or even 100 or 50,000. But, if there were just 1,500 folks shouting "Great Satan, go home!" in Baghdad or Mosul, it would be large enough for the media to do that little trick where they film the demo close up so it looks like the place is packed. Yet no such demonstrations take place.
The past couple of days have left me with a feeling that things are spinning out of control. People who don't really have this country's best interests at heart are too gleefully cheering on the enemy.
Which makes them the enemy.
Demonstrating the will to lose as clearly as America did in Vietnam wasn't such a smart move, but since the media can't seem to get beyond this ancient jungle war it may be worth underlining the principal difference: Osama is not Ho Chi Minh, and al-Qa'eda are not the Viet Cong. If you exit, they'll follow. And Americans will die - in foreign embassies, barracks, warships, as they did through the Nineties, and eventually on the streets of US cities, too.
It's true. They will follow. Unless they are destroyed now.
In these four years of the War against Islamofascism, our troops have fought with incredible bravery and resourcefulness, but they have done so conventionally. The day will come when they will have to unleash Hell on these animals.
You pretty much have to check out this amazing timeline of the events leading to the War for Iraq, courtesy of the indefatigable Greyhawk at The Mudville Gazette. It is extensive and very useful ---a real corrective to the lies of Big Media and the Democratic Party about the responsibility for this war.
Is it possible to read through the events of 1998 and not believe that Clinton and his party only pursued an offensive policy against Saddam to distract the nation from his own petty disgraces? For that man to criticize this war today when all Iraq ever meant to him was to be a venue to demonstrate his phony commitments to American security and power is an outrage.
His wife is playing it pretty smart, though. Is he helping her with the good cop/bad cop routine? I wouldn't doubt it.
The Law of Unintended Consequences Mood:
a-ok Now Playing: "Teenager in Love" by Dion and The Belmonts
I can't help but to think that this would be related to the idea going around that Zarqawi is dead. Richard Miniter writes in Human Events Online (emphases mine):
Dead men tell no tales, but luckily for intelligence analysts, live women do.
Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi was not able to detonate her bomb at the wedding party and fled with the guests as her husband exploded himself. Now, she is in the custody of the GID, Jordan’s intelligence agency. By all accounts, the interrogation is going slowly. Still, enough information is emerging for us to draw some lessons for the triple bombings in Amman, Jordan, on November 9.
Mrs. al-Rishawi’s family history reveals just how effective the U.S. military has proven to be in eliminating insurgents. Jordanian intelligence has learned that three of her brothers were killed by coalition forces in Iraq. Her brother, Thamir al-Rashawi, a member al-Zarqawi’s inner circle, was killed in April 2004 in Fallujah, when a missile fired from a U.S. aircraft struck his pick-up truck. Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Marwan al-Mu’ashir described her brother, Thamir, as “the emir [commander] of the Al-Anbar region [of the Iraqi insurgency] in the Al-Qa’idah of Jihad Organization in the Land of Two Rivers. He was the right hand of Abu-Mus’ab al-Zarqawi.”
So why isn't Big Media reporting on these triumphs against the Zarqawiites? Would it ruin their storyline that the torture-happy American military are the real enemy and that their presence in Iraq is only creating more terrorists?
Another sign of desperation: Consider who Zarqawi sent to run the Amman operation, Mrs. Al-Rishawi’s husband. He also a member of Zarqawi’s inner circle. He is now dead. Why did Zarqawi send a top officer to die? He has already lost so many. It suggests that either he’s running short of suicide bombers (typically Saudi recruits) or he’s running short of people he trusts. Either way, it’s a sign of desperation.
Meanwhile, Mrs. al-Rishawi is alive and apparently talking. She can certainly tell her interrogators the location of the other insurgents and perhaps Zarqawi’s hiding place.
I am very pleased to hear that things might be wrapping up against Zarqawi. I know that this won't end our obligations in Iraq, but it will deal those murderous animals a serious blow. And done in by a woman? That just makes the irony more delicious!
I hope by the time I fall asleep tonight, I'll know that that piece of shit is dead.
Zarqawi May Be Dead
That's what's being suggested, anyway:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. forces sealed off a house in the northern city of Mosul where eight suspected al-Qaida members died in a gunfight — some by their own hand to avoid capture. A U.S. official said Sunday that efforts were under way to determine if terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was among the dead.
Insurgents, meanwhile, killed an American soldier and a Marine in separate attacks over the weekend, while a British soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in the south.
In Washington, a U.S. official said the identities of the terror suspects killed was unknown. Asked if they could include al-Zarqawi, the official replied: "There are efforts under way to determine if he was killed."
I'm sure that the Mother Sheehan crowd are crying at the prospect that another poor, innocent Arab has been murdered by Halliburton Minderbinder, but the rest of us are hoping the report is true.
Bumping into Howard Hughes
I was looking through some old family papers tonight and I came across a letter from my grandfather to my mother postmarked 20 August 1968. Included with it was a clipping of a letter he had sent to a local columnist in El Paso named W.J. "Bill" Hooten who had published it in his paper there.
HOWARD HUGHES' AUTOGRAPH
Jake Shapiro is a retired telegrapher whom I have known for many years. Being one myself, we talk the same language on some subjects.
Saturday's mail brought this from Jake who is summering in Ruidoso:
In connection with the feature story in Sunday's Parade magazine concerning Howard Hughes which features the theme that he is one of the most invisible men of modern times I would like to tell a story about that.
You might remember this incident. It was back in 1946 as I remember it, there was a news item that on a flight east from Los Angeles, Howard Hughes accompanied by Cary Grant was forced down somewhere between Chihuahua and El Paso, the exact location was not known. About two days later I was down in the coffee shop at the Municipal Airport as it was called then and two guys walked in and sat down just opposite to where I was sitting. I recognized one of them immediately as Cary Grant but I had no idea who the other was for I had forgotten about the news item. I kept looking at Cary but paid no attention to the other fellow. Finally I pulled a piece of-paper out of my wallet, walked over to Cary and said boldly —'how about signing this, Cary?' Just like that. He never hesitated, pulled a pen out of his vest pocket and put his John Henry down. Getting bolder I said, 'How about your friend,' never realizing who he was. Without further ado, this guy pulled out a pen and signed it 'Howard Hughes.' I then remembered the news item, as it rang a bell. I walked back to where I was sitting and from then on out I forgot all about Cary Grant and kept looking at Howard Hughes. I wish I had that piece of paper but I lost it.
I thought I might recall the incident as it would interest you.
I notice you had a great time in Wa-hoo. That must be some place and I've never been there.
As ever, I have to smile at the course such pieces of the past can take. Would my Daddo have ever imagined that his grandson could take that clipping, run it through a machine that was a cross between a typewriter, a TV, and a waffle iron with a pane of glass and a flashlight in it, and then instantly share it with anyone else in the whole wide world who also had another such contraption ---all in the space of about five minutes?
These are fascinating times in which we live, aren't they?
Maureen Dowd on the Korean War
I find Maureen Dowd very attractive in her deliberately bitchy and cultivatedly shallow kind of way, but I'm watching a replay of her on CSPAN from yesterday with Brain Lamb and this guy calls to ask, appropos of nothing, really, why there hasn't been more reporting on the Korean War. Reporting by whom or on what aspect of that war, I don't know, but Dowd's reaction was amazingly dead.
She just shrugs her shoulders and says no, she never thinks or writes about it. Lamb tries to coax anything he can out of her by saying that we lost "50,000 men over there," but Dowd just can't be bothered.
"I'm in the opinion kingdom," Dowd says, "not the news-assigning kingdom."
So why does this bother me? Because it points to a problem that a lot of people have in arguing for and against the wars America has fought. There's an abuse of History that people ---especially the anti-war crowd today--- fall into through their ignorance and, certainly, their indifference.
The Korean War? Gosh, that was more than a half-century ago! What possible lessons could it teach us now? Maybe something about the great numbers lost in a hot war that didn't last much longer than the one in which our troops are now engaged? Could it tell us something about long-standing alliances and decades of deployment abroad? Maybe we might learn something about bipartisan responsibilities for these conflicts? Might we learn that our country has a long and accomplished history of resistance to oppressive ideologies? Do people like Dowd have any idea how much more degraded the path of human and civil rights in the world would be if our country hadn't fought against Communism in Asia?
More importantly, do these anti-war Leftists realize that the West must also resist and destroy Islamofascism today before it destroys us? Far-fetched, you say? Unlikely? Look at the demographics in Europe. Look at the birthrates in Africa. Look at whence the lifeblood of our global economy is derived.
The task of resisting tyrannical systems is ours ---and it has been for a long time. That is one reason why those who now enjoy liberty ---and prosper as fully as, say, Maureen Dowd does--- have some obligation to remember the tremendous sacrifices that were made on the Korean Peninsula in the name of free societies more than half a century ago. Not because it's strictly relevant to the War for Iraq, but because there are men and women alive today who fought and died to resist Communism in Korea. They deserve something more thoughtful than a blank stare and a flippant attitude from the New York Times' Queen of Opinion.
(That's something like an ethical argument, which, I hear, is superior to the merely logical kind.)
Curt Weldon's a good man. People should listen to him ---both when he's defending John Murtha and when he's talking about Able Danger.
I think he did himself a big favor tonight on the floor of the House of Representatives.
As for Murtha, I respect the man, but I disrespect the clowns who are kissing his ass. Like Howard Fineman. Fineman is a bag of wet stools. Sure, go on and on about how important it is that Murtha is drawing a crowd like this, but don't lie to the public about the man's record. Murtha's been against this war for more than a year now; this sudden change of heart that Big Media is trying to sell us is nothing of the kind. Fineman knows this, but he's too busy propagandizing to make mention of that.
But this all goes back to the President of the United States. So long as he refuses to seize every opportunity he can to explain to us what our troops are doing and accomplishing in Iraq, George W. Bush is failing them and the people who care about their mission.
If John Murtha is forcing the President to make some sense, then a big "Semper Fi!" to him.
Getting What They Wished For
Looks like Patrick Fitzgerald is going to go the distance and make everybody miserable on account of goddamned Joe Wilson and his wife:
WASHINGTON - Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said in court filings that the ongoing CIA leak investigation will involve proceedings before a new grand jury, a possible sign he could seek new charges in the case.
In filings obtained by Reuters on Friday, Fitzgerald said "the investigation is continuing” and that “the investigation will involve proceedings before a different grand jury than the grand jury which returned the indictment” against Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby.
Fitzgerald did not elaborate in the document. For two years he has been investigating the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity. The grand jury that indicted Libby expired after the charges were filed late last month.
This is Pandora's box, you know. The anti-Bush Left wants this to bring down the White House, but it isn't going to work that way. Instead, I say that Fitzgerald's investigation is going to expose Big Media like it's never been exposed before.
Worth Staying Up For Mood:
It must be said that KXAN news anchor Michelle Valles' much-anticipated report on self-defense techniques was well worth the wait. Although the very idea that this woman should ever be attacked or harmed is hateful to me, it was a delight to see her in action. She is magnificence itself.
What I Said over at Jeff Goldstein's Crib
Jeff Goldstein has put a foot up Rod Dreher's kiester on the topic of John Murtha's remarks today against the War for Iraq. I added this in the comments section there:
Since it's been forgotten, let me remind certain wankers of a basic truth about the advocacy of ---or opposition to--- this war or any other issue in political life: citizens in a civil society are only obligated to know what they are talking about. They are not obligated to have personal experience of the thing they advocate or oppose, but they must be informed and have a conscience.
Anti-war Leftists (or troubled minds like Rod Dreher) have somehow convinced themselves that opposition to this war is available to anyone with a mouth or an asshole (if they can be distinguished), but that advocacy is only available to military veterans. You know that something must be wrong if anti-war liberals are deferring to the military in any way since their default setting when attacking advocates who have not served is that they should go and die in Bu$hitler's War.
Which is a suggestion made with the greatest respect for the men and women who do fight on our behalf, right?
Fuck dumbasses who can't think straight. I'm past done with them.
The Theoretical Limit of Irony Now Playing: "Fantasy" by Aldo Nova
I found this Reuters story over at Michelle Malkin's place. It is about a man so hypocritical and full of chutzpah that he actually emits a small amount of radioactivity:
Joseph Wilson, the husband of outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, called on Thursday for an inquiry by The Washington Post into the conduct of journalist Bob Woodward, who repeatedly criticized the leak investigation without disclosing his own involvement.
"It certainly gives the appearance of a conflict of interest. He was taking an advocacy position when he was a party to it," Wilson said.
Kean and Able Now Playing: what else? cowboy junkies, man.
I found thisWall Street Journal op-ed via Drudge's place earlier today and was quite blown away by how angry Louis Freeh has become towards wankers like the Kean Commission. On the subject of them and the inconvenient Able Danger story, Freeh writes:
It was interesting to hear from the 9/11 Commission again on Tuesday. This self-perpetuating and privately funded group of lobbyists and lawyers has recently opined on hurricanes, nuclear weapons, the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and even the New York subway system. Now it offers yet another "report card" on the progress of the FBI and CIA in the war against terrorism, along with its "back-seat" take and some further unsolicited narrative about how things ought to be on the "front lines."
Yet this is also a good time for the country to make some assessments of the 9/11 Commission itself. Recent revelations from the military intelligence operation code-named "Able Danger" have cast light on a missed opportunity that could have potentially prevented 9/11. Specifically, Able Danger concluded in February 2000 that military experts had identified Mohamed Atta by name (and maybe photograph) as an al Qaeda agent operating in the U.S. Subsequently, military officers assigned to Able Danger were prevented from sharing this critical information with FBI agents, even though appointments had been made to do so. Why?
Read it all, gang. This man was the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The worm-filled Left and other kinds of Clintonistas don't want you to pay him any mind because they know it reflects poorly on their man, but Freeh is in full throat.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 8:32 PM CST
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Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2005 8:33 PM CST
Thanks to Duncan Black for banning me again. He must know that I could do much better work here if I would just stay away from his dive. And it's true. I mess around there too much when I should be working on my own site.