A Stupid Policy
For our armed forces and intelligence services, torture may be a tactic. For our Muslim enemies, it is a strategy. That is a big difference ---and one that's ignored by the craphounds in Big Media.
The problem with John McCain or anybody else trying to recodify the various techniques our military and intelligence personnel use against our enemies is that it appears to take even the threat of torture off our table. But you can't tell your enemies what you won't do. That's a stupid policy.
I know what the anti-war/anti-Bush Left is thinking. They're thinking that this President has stolen two elections ---and is now intent upon stealing the average American's privacy on the pretext of his powers as Commander-in-Chief.
But what sort of a dictator fails to get his way? Bush often fails to get his way. He couldn't get Social Security reforms enacted. He couldn't get his personal attorney onto the Supreme Court. He could keep neither the Republican Majority Leader of the House nor his own Vice President's chief of staff from indictment. He cannot keep his critics inside or out of the government from leaking and harping and doing their worst to undermine him.
This is a dictator?
But let us imagine that all of these things are just part of the kabuki theater of national politics. All these failures are just window dressing for a far vaster operation just below the surface. It's there where we are all being duped and spied upon by an enormous apparatus of Halliburton-like super-corporations. Bush and his controllers (or are they minions?) are stealing our civil liberties in the name of national security. Bush is committing impeachable crimes under the cover of "war time measures."
The war must be made permanent to preserve Bush's extraordinary powers.
I recall that Michael Moore, who is a traitor, said that the atrocities of 11 September 2001 only affected a few thousand people. It was, in other words, not so big a deal as to require that we assume the posture of a nation at war. But making the argument that 3,000 dead is proportionately very small relative to the rest of the country is to say that those atrocities were just a pop in the face and that we are too big to let that bother us so much. Of course, this attitude is the limit of disrespect and stupidity.
The events of that day did change everything. A lot of people whose opinions I read make light of that notion, but that's their fault. If there is to be permanent war between us and Islamofascism, then I say we keep on winning it. And the evidence of that victory, despite the degeneracy of those who resist it, will continue to manifest itself in the cultural changes in the Muslim Middle East. It will be George W. Bush who claims credit for those achievements.
That is where his interests lie, not in spying on Americans.
Who Are They?
This Administration's opponents are very obviously indifferent to the recklessness in reporting leaked information from supposedly secret agencies. It's such a rash of this tattling lately, it has to be the product of collusion between Big Media and some very strange political interests.
More than four years out from the atrocities of 11 September 2001 and it's nothing at all to forget what put us there: our ignorance of what our enemies are capable of.
I am now long-lived and matured enough to recognize something in the pattern of American society's attitudes and collective recollection of its own history that cannot be appreciated by the young: the recurrence of hypocrisies on such an enormous scale that they are almost entirely clean of responsibility.
But we do know that individuals are responsible.
We know that the fifth column is in its place and holding things up.
A Good Kind of Envy
I wish I were a fraction as funny as Scott Ott of Scrappleface. He reports:
Frist Links ANWR Oil to NY Times Immunity Bill by Scott Ott
(2005-12-21) — After failing to block a Democrat filibuster of a Senate defense bill which carried a provision to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said he would employ a rare parliamentary maneuver to finally achieve passage for the ANWR measure.
“Today, we’ll introduce a bill to grant pre-emptive immunity from prosecution for treason to The New York Times and any government official who leaked classified information to the Times about the NSA anti-terrorist eavesdropping program,” said Sen. Frist. “The immunity bill will carry the ANWR drilling measure as an amendment. With support from the full Democrat caucus and our progressive Republican friends, it’s a slam dunk.”
Dr. Frist said Democrats will be so eager to approve the measure, “they won’t even read the amendments.”
Robert Mayer at Publius Pundit has a very valuable post about the protests against the elections in Iraq. Something obviously needs to be done in a hurry to address the charges of fraud and malfeasance.
The January 30 elections saw promises of revolt but nothing materialized. This time, however, there is much more support behind the cause. The ruling religious Shia UIA is defiant toward the demands, saying that they are simply sore losers and should respect the demands of the majority.
Well, that would be fine and dandy if there weren’t something seriously fishy about the results, as no polling or analysis before the election showed the UIA doing as well as it did, or the Sunni and secular parties doing as poorly as they did. In fact, the UIA was supposed to drop by nearly half, while Allawi was supposed to do as well as double. What gives?
It's one thing to have an election with such great turnout; it's another to have it marred by horseshit and shenanigans.
Read the whole post. There's tens of thousands of people marching in the streets of Baghdad, people.
Truly a Ten-Cow Woman Now Playing: that great line from the high school health class film johnny lingo
Charles Johnson knows where to go for hot pix of Osama bin Laden's niece. A sexy young lady, certainly. Looks like she needs a good seeing to from Uncle Tobe.
(Photo credit to Jeff Riedel for GQ.)
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 2:24 PM CST
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Updated: Friday, 23 December 2005 2:26 PM CST
Thursday, 22 December 2005
The 4,000 Year-Old Zoroastrian Cypress Tree
To Be Reborn
All you need to know is that we've got ourselves a little break in the action. I'm looking forward to mine. Gonna hang out with my family and eat lots of good Mexican food and watch lots of boring lower-tier college football bowls and have some laughs.
And, after all, the poison in my professional life is almost all sucked out. I look foward to the recovery of my hopes and dignity.
At the excellent blog Publius Pundit, Daniel Holt directs our attention to this essay by Robert M. Kimmitt, a deputy secretary with the US Department of the Treasury. The gist of it? Kimmitt says Iraq is an economic powerhouse just waiting to go online:
Iraq's economy is expected to grow by nearly 4 percent this year and accelerate to nearly 17 percent in 2006. Per capita income should soon exceed $1,000 -- nearly double the level in 2003. More than 30,000 new businesses have been registered and many have set up shop. Today in Iraq there are more than three million cell phone subscribers. In 2003 there were virtually none. Iraqi students now carry laptops that connect at Internet cafes to the world's Web sites and libraries where before they had to rely on pencils, slide rules and outdated -- often censored -- school textbooks.
If you can stand some good news, go read Kimmitt's analysis.
And then riddle me this, my droogs: why is it that the anti-war Left doesn't believe in military interventionism unless it's done by a Democrat and for the sole sake of supposedly humanitarian interests?
Why can't progressives ---which is what liberals have managed to get themselves called these days--- progress to the next level of economic understanding?
Look: we're not getting off the internal combustion engine any time soon. Nor are we migrating away from the thousands of other applications to which we put petroleum and its byproducts to use. Therefore, the struggle to keep our economy strong in the context of competing with several other awakening economic giants will require us to establish our economic and military footprint throughout the Middle East and South Asia. We have long-term interests in these regions. If our bravest men and women have fought and sacrificed for those economic interests, what nerve must you have to insult their efforts as mercenary or done at the behest of some global cabal?
The American economy ---the American ideology at the heart of that economy--- is dynamic and opportunistic. Why are we apologizing for that? We are going to have Iraq as a significant trading partner for years to come. We are going to see a cultural shift across the Middle East that starts right there in Baghdad. These are huge achievements in the offing ---and what do the anti-Bush Leftists want to do about it?
Not Believing My Ears Now Playing: that really funny scene from the original star trek series where spock says kirk cant believe his own ears
I don't remember who I was watching, but a reporter on the news last night said that if the transit strike in New York City actually went through, it would cost the city something like $500,000,000 a day.
A day?! I thought she must have misread her script.
But then I'm watching all this coverage on the news channels tonight and everybody's saying it's like a $400,000,000 daily loss of economic activity.
Four hundred million dollars a day?!
That is absolutely incredible. I couldn't believe that!
Those guys had better get serious in a damned hurry. Outrageous!
Kicking against the Pricks
Michelle Malkin directs my attention to John McIntyre's excellent take on the Democrats' pursuit of this NSA eavesdropping thing. In a word, it's a loser:
[...]Democrats still do not grasp that foreign affairs and national security issues are their vulnerabilities, not their strengths. All of the drumbeat about Iraq, spying, and torture that the left thinks is so damaging to the White House are actually positives for the President and Republicans. Apparently, Democrats still have not fully grasped that the public has profound and long-standing concerns about their ability to defend the nation. As long as national security related issues are front page news, the Democrats are operating at a structural political disadvantage. Perhaps the intensity of their left wing base and the overwhelmingly liberal press corps produces a disorientation among Democratic politicians and prevents a more realistic analysis of where the country’s true pulse lies on these issues.
It's a good, old-fashioned ass-kicking. Go check it out.
"Well, I just had to la-augh..." Now Playing: "Day in the Life" by the Beatles
Did you see this crap in the news today?
Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has banned Western music from Iran's radio and TV stations, reviving one of the harshest cultural decrees from the early days of 1979 Islamic Revolution. Songs such as George Michael's "Careless Whisper," Eric Clapton's "Rush" and the Eagles' "Hotel California" have regularly accompanied Iranian broadcasts, as do tunes by saxophonist Kenny G.
But the official IRAN Persian daily reported Monday that Ahmadinejad, as head of Iran's Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council, ordered the enactment of an October ruling by the council to ban Western music.
"Blocking indecent and Western music from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting is required," according to a statement on the council's official Web site.
I'm not sure why the aforementioned titles were the first to come to the reporter's mind, but it somehow makes the ban even more pathetic, if that's possible.
Letter Trumps Spirit
Duncan Black is trying to throw us off his trail by declaring that he is not stupid, but read what he says about the New York Times' report that President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on the phone conversations of potential terrorists:
So, publishing the fact that Bush has decided he can spy on people without warrants is going to damage national security even though we already had a very public policy which allowed us to do the same by getting a warrant which didn't even have to really be gotten until 72 hours after the spying began?
Once again, I must ask: if these search warrants are so easily obtained, then what does that say about the oversight that the FISA courts provide? Isn't it more likely that the President's order to the NSA is a matter of acting in exigent circumstances to protect the American people? That isn't something that depends on retroactive authorizations ---which is a meaningless procedural burden to anyone who thinks about it for five seconds. Instead, Bush's order has been subject to dozens of reviews to guarantee that no civil liberties have been trampled on unnecessarily. What else should matter?
If it makes you feel better, Duncan, I'm sure that no court in the land would admit those eavesdropped recordings at trial without a prior search warrant. So buck up: your instinct to sympathize with and demand the rights of murderers to a fair trial is undiminished.
Bush is a lying criminal.
And a wanker.
Clearly, Duncan Black is a brave man to test the chilly waters of the Fourth Reich like this. After all, hundreds of bloggers have already been rounded up and concentrated in camps: doesn't he know he could be next?