July 19, 2002


, in fact my eyes glaze over and a little dribble of drool starts running down my chin when I have to deal with my 401k, and that's a big part of why I haven't said anything about all the corporate macro-scandals going on. That, and because I actually think nearly everyone's missing the point. To sum up, for eight years the American people said that the character of the man holding the highest, most powerful office in the land didn't matter. One should then assume that the character of lesser office-holders, in the private as well as public sector, should matter even less. So we're reaping what we've sown. If you think character doesn't count, don't get ticked that some CEO trashed your life savings on his way to the Caribbean--you asked for it. Howl "hard-hearted conservative SOB" if you wish, but remember that my retirement plan isn't performing any better than yours.

Thankfully, Prof. Mark Byron deals with hard numbers and perceptions and such better than I do. Check out his take on the whole thing. Worth reading.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


(which is what we should go back to calling it) is worried that al Qaeda is developing nukes and chemical and biological weapons somewhere. No surprise there, nor is it surprising that Iraq is the usual suspect when it comes to funneling such stuff their way, but buried in this story is an interesting tidbit:

Al Qaeda's interest in biological weapons seemed to be focused mainly on anthrax, (Stephen Younger, director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency) said.

Remind you of anything?

(thanks to Dave)

UPDATE: Maybe related, maybe not, but Chechen rebels have stolen radioactive material from a Russian power plant in Rostov in the past 12 months. Question is can the stolen stuff be weaponized? I don't know the answer to that, but hopefully someone who knows will write in.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Just read the story. It's all too strange to pull any one quote.

I do hope he gets his little theories out there though. There are too many on the left who privately agree with him, and they should be smoked out and repudiated.
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, a bunch of radical-left eco-terrorists, is coming to a city near me (Washington, DC). Eco-terrorism--committing acts of violence and vandalism in the name of stopping progress, is as futile as it is dangerous--groups like the Earth Liberation Front advertise arson methods, preach hate toward anyone to their political right (which describes just about every one, given how far left they are), and occassionally burn, blow up or destroy property and sometimes injure and kill people involved in industries they don't agree with. What's worse, I know more than a few lefty Democrats who behind closed doors endorse the actions of such groups.

But you hardly ever hear about them or their acts on the evening news. Why?

If a pro-life radical sneezes in an abortionist's direction, it'll make headlines from coast to coast. And behind closed doors, pro-lifers fume at the damage one act of pro-life terrorism does to the cause. It makes all of us look like dangerous, hypochritical fanatics.

I submit to you that the difference in media treatment between pro-life terrorists and eco-terrorists is a blatant example of media bias.

But back to the linked story, eco-terror expert Ron Arnold, vice president of an outfit called the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, is concerned that the FBI isn't looking at eco-terror more closely. While I don't necessarily buy Arnold's line that eco-terror is at least as dangerous as Islamofascist terrorism, he's right that the FBI should keep an interest in the activities of such groups. They are, in many ways, what the the Ku Klux Klan was in its heyday--an extreme, dangerous element that enjoys clandestine support from seemingly mainstream interests.

(thanks to Chris)
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: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton lit into fellow Dem Senator Russ Fiengold during a closed-door meeting Thursday. The catalyst was a statment by party lawyer Bob Bauer, warning that Clinton Administration fund-raising tactics could land current office-holders in jail.

In other words, she's worried about the implications of McCain-Feingold campaign finance restrictions, the very ones she supported and voted for.
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: Instapundit has been following the story of Ted Turner's attempt to wrestle a few hundred acres of land from desendants of slaves in South Carolina. The people in The Mouth's way bought the land in the 1920s as a way to secure their own lives and out of a feeling of attachment to ancestral land. Ted, a man with billions of dollars but sadly short on brain cells, wants it for "recreational purposes." Glenn is right to ask rhetorically "Where's the outrage? Where's Jesse Jackson?" and so forth.

It all reminds me of a story from the distant past. A certain wealthy man had many sheep, but when it came time for a feast he coveted the one sheep belonging to a poor family. That family treated their lone sheep as a pet, loving it like one of their children. The wealthy man took the poor family's sheep and slaughtered it for himself and his guests. When confronted with this story by the prophet Nathan, King David was enraged, and said the wealthy man must be executed. Nathan then revealed that David himself was the wealthy man, having stolen Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and murdered Uriah to cover it up.

I wonder how Ted Turner would react if the story were retold to him with more modern illustrations?

Who says the Bible isn't relevant to our times?
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July 18, 2002


From today's ShopTalk:

Drawing on an old family adage to distinguish CNN from the more abrasive, "talk-radio host" style of Fox, (CNN News Chairman and CEO Walter) Isaacson said there are two kinds of people: storytellers and preachers. By storytellers, he meant CNN's journalists. But he himself began to preach, praising his organization's commitment to gathering news, adding, "We actually get up in the morning and believe in what we do."

Comments like this elicited groans, sighs and not-so-subtle glances at wristwatches among the dozens of reporters. Jordan joined the bandwagon, saying of CNN, "We are No. 1 as a great journalist network."

This prompted Isaacson to agree, "What we have to do is define 'winning.' "

I'm sure the advertisers will buy that. The context of Isaacson's remarks was last week's CNN session at the Television Critics Association panel, and the groans were coming from journalists and critics, a crowd you don't want groaning at you. The panel seems to have been another debacle for CNN and for new/veteran anchor Connie Chung, who was late to the gathering, and when she did arrive ran a highlight reel of her career. With a room full of reporters very familiar with her work, the highlight reel was probably a bad move:

When Chung was finally introduced, she was preceded by a video montage, showing clips of her TV work over 30 years. One reporter shouted, "No tape --- we've seen her show!"

As for that show, "Connie Chung Tonight," which debuted on CNN last month, the anchor and her colleagues deflected any criticism --- such as that it sometimes veers toward the tabloidy. Said Isaacson, "Y'all should just keep watching, because it's just really good!"

(Aside--he's saying this to critics...)

Chung, who ended up appearing for 20 minutes as the panel went into overtime, offered, "We're very close to doing the program we want to do." She also said, "I came to CNN because it is the last sanctuary for news."

But to the critics here, the hour-plus of superlatives made the network seem more like a bastion of the hard-sell.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 17, 2002


Well, worry no more, because now the internet can create your knee-jerk reaction for ya.
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: Alleged 20th hijacker Zacharias Moussaoui, a 34-year-old Moroccan Frenchman with a Masters degree representing himself before the court, refers to Deep Throat, Frankenstein and Gladiator in his filing. He thinks the FBI planted a 70x70 cm fan on his car as a tracking device. His psychiatrist says he "may be a bit paranoid" (d'ya think?).

Sounds like somebody's angling for an insanity defense. Either that, or al Qaeda really was scraping the bottom of the brain barrel for its biggest job.

(thanks to Dave)
Posted by B. Preston at 09:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


. That skull the Army dug up in Afghanistan turned to be a woman's and therefore not bin Laden's (unless...oh never mind, I've told myself "No more bin Laden weewee jokes"). But, the FBI's counterrorism chief thinks the manaical fleebag is dead. More interesting still, the FBI has a sample of smelly's DNA.

How in the world did the FBI get a piece of bin Laden?
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: From my eyes-and-ears on the web Dave, come the details of today's Palestinian outrage--twin suicide/war crime/murder/homicide bombings in Tel Aviv kill seven, injuring scores more.

They just don't get it. Arafat's already on the outs with the United States, and his station is rapidly deteriorating with his usual lackeys in Europe. Even Amnesty International now condemns their actions, yet the bombers just keep bombing. These terrorist groups and the Palestinian Authority that operates, coddles, funds and deploys them are composed of the stupidest, most vile people on earth. Every act of anti-Jewish violence seals their own fate.

Last summer, before all the latest trouble got started, I read Josephus. First century history fascinates me; Rome fascinates me; Jewish general and Roman collaborator Josephus was an eyewitness to one of the most tragic chapters in the saga of the Middle East. His Antiquities of the Jews details the situation facing Israel in the first century AD. Ruled locally by the Herods but remotely by Rome, Israel was a province of the Empire, and known as Palestine. Tired of the yoke of Roman servitude, Jewish zealots began their attempt to push out the foreign rulers through minimal means--a revolutionary leader here, a mini-rebellion there. Rome tried to keep Israel in check via limited means--executing a rebel here, cracking down there. It didn't work. The zealots continued their trouble-making, the Romans continued to deploy more legions. After several decades of bubbling violence, Rome finally had enough. That was 70 AD, the year the Roman army destroyed Herod's Temple, sacked Jerusalem and scattered the Jews around the world. The Jews wouldn't get their homeland back until 1948, a punishment lasting 1,878 years--far longer than the Empire that dealt it.

In today's Middle East, some roles have been switched around and some given to new players. There's no Roman Empire, but there is a lone superpower. There are no Jewish zealots, but there are followers of a true monstronsity with the potential to create far move havoc. Instead of Jerusalem, Baghdad will be sacked. And that's likely only the beginning.
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--three years to the day before the WTC/Pentagon attack--senior Clinton administration intelligence officials predicted a "catastrophic intelligence failure" if our intel agencies weren't reformed. They weren't, and 9-11-01 came.

Evidence of malfeasance during the Clinton years continues to pile up.
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: India has foiled a terror attack on the Israeli embassy in New Delhi.
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and bluster are all about ratings. They're into blockbusters and spectacle, all in the name of "perception management," according to this story:

Al-Qaeda's use of the internet and videotapes demonstrate that 'perception management' is central to the conduct of its war with the West. In fact, it is possible to view all of Al-Qaeda's operations - including acts of violence - as one vast perception management operation. Everything Al-Qaeda does is taped to use later. They claim to have recorded testaments of all 19 of the 11 September hijackers and have videotaped many of their fighters in Afghanistan in order to have martyr obituary material if they are killed. An important motive for the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan may well have been to produce the horrific video of one of his kidnappers mutilating his body, which was posted on the internet in May.

Which, naturally, makes it even less likely that UBL is still alive, and also emphasizes the importance of sniffing out terror sites and alerting the FBI when you find one.
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still lying about visa express, the program that basically gives travel agents visa power in Saudi Arabia. Joel Mowbray also reports that State wants to expand the program:

In spite of record of failure — that included a free pass into the U.S. for three 9/11 terrorists — State not only wants to keep Visa Express open in Saudi Arabia, but to expand the program to other countries. "State still wants to get through as many people as possible with a minimum of hassle," notes a senior State Department official.

As bizarre as it might seem, the State Department decided to make Saudi Arabia — the nation that sent us 15 of 19 9/11 terrorists — the only country in the world where citizens and non-citizens alike were expected to submit visa applications through travel agents. So, if Visa Express dies an ignominious death in Saudi Arabia, the odds of the program popping up elsewhere drop dramatically — and State sees that as a bad thing.

I see expanding a program which seems designed to weaken our national security as a bad thing, and I hope our Congress agrees or we'll end up visa expressing more terrorists into the country. I also see that as a bad thing.
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about terrorism use non-Islamic terrorists, when the vast majority of the world's most dangerous terrorists are Islamists? That's what Michael Medved wants to know.

I have a couple of theories, one benign and one a little more menacing. The benign theory is that Islamic terrorism hits a little too close to reality, and Hollywood is very squishy when it comes to making audiences uncomfortable. Oh, Hollywood loves to make folks on the political right squirm, but general audiences--no way. That's why you don't see too many films about fires in theatres, if you get my drift, and why airlines don't show films about plane crashes. Islamic terrorism is real and truly dangerous--it's easier to make good guys beat less realistic bad guys and have them get the girl in the end. Along with that, it's just too difficult to make Yasser Arafat interesting or attractive enough to carry the villain's role--it's easier to make fake villians with a little sex appeal.

The less benign reason, I think, is because Hollywood is truly ambivalent about how bad Islamic terrorism is. The far left (and Hollywood is by and large a far lefty envclave) embraces the Arafats of the world--they don't have the creative DNA to then turn around and make someone who thinks like he does the bad guy. Again, it's just easier to stay out of the real world and manufacture straw villains than it is to confront the horror with which you sympathize. This also explains why Nazis show up as the villains in film after film, but Communists rarely show up in film at all.
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July 16, 2002


on MSNBC last night? I saw bits and pieces of it, which was more than enough. What an arrogant, emotionally-driven blowhard he still is. He hasn't changed a bit since leaving his talk show several years ago--he even looks the same, which is as close to a compliment as I can manage.

He's still an awful host, in the sense that he pontificates and sandbags his guests, then lets said guest get out a word or two before interrupting and pontificating some more. In Donahue's world, there simply is no opinion equal in weight to his own. If you don't agree with him, there's something wrong with you and he seem to think that getting LOUDER WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND. That's a common trait among TV talk show hosts, but Donahue's pseudo-intellectual spin on it makes it particularly noxious. He's Dennis Miller without a sense of humor (or common sense)--full of opinion and obscure references, but devoid of substance.

His first night's highlight was an exchange with Pat Buchanan, and he managed to make Buchanan look like his old reasonable self instead of his new mighty morphing protectionist incarnation. Their discussion was the Pledge, and Donahue took the very unsurprising position that Michael Newdow was right to sue, regardless of the facts of his case which render Newdow a liar, and Donahue's reasoning seemed to spring from a 1942 case in which some Jehovah's Witnesses were forced to recite the pledge in the classroom. Notably, the Witnesses won that case and made the Pledge optional, a point that for some reason Donahue lauded without realizing that it completely undermined his case. If the Pledge is optional (as it should be), what's the fuss? If you don't like it, don't say it, or leave out whichever word or phrase offends. Confederate diehards can leave out "indivisible," atheists can leave out "under God," Jehovah's Witnesses can just leave the whole thing out altogether. Individual's perogative reigns, and it in no way forces the majority of society to conform to the wishes of a few.

I didn't have a clock on the segment, but my impression was that Donahue spent roughly 75% of the time talking, allowing Buchanan the balance (which probably accounts for Buchanan's performance--he had just enough time to skewer a few of Phil's points but not enough to bury himself as well). I can't exactly say that I hope the new Donahue show fails, though against O'Reilly he has a tough shot. Watching Phil Donahue is sort of like watching the T-rex in the first Jurassic Park movie--it looks real, but you get the feeling that you're looking at a relic from the past that just shouldn't be in front of you. You rub your eyes, look away for a second, but it's still there, breathing in the present the stuff of the distant past. Yet your curiosity keeps the relic interesting for a few minutes, before you turn your attention to the concerns of the present.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


. If the government is trying to undermine the public's confidence in it, the job is well on its way to completion. Virtually no one believes the LAX killings to have been anything other than terrorism, though that's what the FBI wants us to believe. Airport security--don't get me started on that. And now it seems the National Transportation Safety Board is pulling a Warren Commission act on witnesses of Flight 587's crash in Queens last fall. The witnesses say they saw fireballs and explosions, the NTSB asks them to say they saw something else.

Note to government officials--if you make Oliver Stone look like a rational critic, you have only yourselves to blame.

(catch by Chris Regan)
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this time in Helsinki where a car bomb blew up outside a synagogue. The Finish police issued the following:

The car bomb may not be related to the current Middle East security crisis, Detective Chief Inspector Olli Toyras told The Associated Press.

"We are treating this as an isolated incident," said Detective Chief Inspector Olli Toyras. "We don't believe there are any terrorism or political links."

I guess the FBI is training everyone in the art of denial these days.

(thanks to Dave)
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may have been behind the Afghan vice-president's assassination, according to another Afghan VP, Karim Khalili.

Elsewhere, Spain has arrested three of the buggers, one of which had video taped various high-profile buildings in the US. All 3 are Syrian.

Remember those reports from the past day or so that bin Laden took a wound of some sort, but is tanned, rested and ready for the next big event? The Pentagon is in no info mode. Other governments and media outlets can afford to "confirm" UBL's whereabouts, his health, the color of his shorts, etc all they want. The Pentagon isn't likely to do much more than chase leads until the FBI confirms who it was the Army dug up in that Afghan graveyard a few weeks ago.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


are gearing up to regulate private schools to death, thereby killing the voucher movement. One reason I haven't said much about the Supreme Court's recent decision in favor of vouchers' constitutionality is that I've been pondering how school choice will really shake out. Don't get me wrong here--I'm all for vouchers, and for school choice generally, as a way to force some competition into our educational establishment and hopefully improve quality. But I suspected that choice opponents wouldn't just go away quietly, and the linked story proves that they're going to be very clever in their opposition. They haven't killed vouchers at the ballot box, and failed in the courts, so now they'll turn to death by regulation.

One thing I've been pondering is how, substantially, vouchers differ from the GI Bill. The Bill works by having military recruits sign up for it during basic training, and (when I went through basic in 1993) the military docked $100 a month for the first year of service. At the end of that year, the servicemember is eligible to the maximum GI Bill benefit (roughly $16,000 today) to pay for education at accredited universities or other centers of learning. The servicemember has full discretion over choice of school and study interest--the GI Bill can fund a degree in women's studies or a Masters of Divinity, the choice is entirely up to the user. So through the GI Bill, the government has probably helped educate thousands of engineers, lawyers, writers, and even pastors, yet there's never been a constitutional challenge to it, and due to the GI Bill's transforming effect on post-war society, there isn't likely to ever be one.

Framing the school choice initiative in a way that evokes the great good that the GI Bill has done may be one way to halt the teachers' unions and other anti-choice forces in their tracks, or at least give choice proponents a rallying point.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


out there still don't think we'll really do all that much about Saddam, and still others think that we shouldn't do much about him. This story might change your mind. Saddam has chemical weapons, and there's evidence that he's been shipping them out to al Qaeda for use here and in Western Europe.

(thanks to Dave)
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: According to NewsMax, there's a quiet effort to scuttle recent administration and Congressional efforts to protect US troops and officials from politically-motivated prosecution in the International Criminal Court. Fear of such prosecutions in entirely justified, especially in light of jouranlistic excesses like this:

The British tabloid The Mirror is usually supportive of British and U.S. policy. But on Oct. 29 former Mirror editor John Pilger wrote a scathing critique of the war. "One of the poorest, most stricken nations has been terrorized by the most powerful--to the point where American pilots have run out of dubious 'military' targets and are now destroying mud houses, a hospital, Red Cross warehouses, lorries carrying refugees," Pilger wrote.

While the U.S. media remain largely silent, readers in other countries can get some of the details of these deliberate war crimes.
(emphasis added)

And this story is from one of our stauchest allies, the UK. It's only a matter of time before stories turn into charges, and US troops find themselves under indictment for committing nothing more than a war-related accident.

What goes largely unreported is the number of nations which have, and have not, signed on to the ICC. To date, 66 nations including most of Europe have submitted to the ICC. Seventy-three, including the US, India, Russia and several other rather important nations have not signed on, meaning that the majority of the UN's member states are still skeptical of the ICC and its intentions.

So back to the leftist's efforts to bring the Bush Administration quitely to heel, and submit American citizens to the whims of the ICC. Here's Joe Conason, decrying the administration's hesitance to subvert American sovereignty:

Among the 66 nations that have signed and ratified the I.C.C. treaty are nearly all of the United States’ most supportive friends in Europe and the Americas, and not a few from other regions. Consider for a moment how those democracies must regard Mr. Bush’s decision to cast aside this treaty, signed by Bill Clinton on Dec. 31, 2000. Then consider how they felt about the insulting postscript ordering American diplomats and law-enforcement officials to refuse any cooperation with the court after it is established this summer.

Note the inclusion of the 66 signatories, but not the 73 dissenters. Note also when Clinton signed the treaty--Dec. 31, 2000--about three weeks before the end of his presidency. Looks like another of his little time-bombs to me, along the lines of the arsenic hoax.

The leftist Dems (I said leftist Dems, not all rank-and-file Dems) have a strategy here, which is to weaken US sovereignty and therefore US power. Embarrassing the administration is just a side benefit. If the Bush Administration caves, the war on terrorism could take a very ugly turn, with American servicemen and women as well as US government officials under threat of prosection for fulfilling the government's most basic responsibility--protecting its citizens.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2002


: That's this article's take on Noam Chomsky's 9-11. Choice cut:

It would be tempting to say that the author only preaches to the choir. But there’s more to Chomsky’s success than that. True, Chomsky is like the Bog Man of Grauballe, Denmark, preserved unchanged for centuries. Since the early 1960s, no new ideas have made it into his oeuvre. He is as he was, and his rage against democracy as practiced in the U.S. is of a piece with the raised fists of the Chicago Seven and the ancient bumper stickers condemning “Amerika.” But his message still seems to resonate with a sizable faction of the Boomers, trained to respond to emotion rather than reason. These are the people who sympathized with Susan Sontag’s notorious post–September 11 observation: “Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a ‘cowardly’ attack on ‘civilization’ or ‘liberty’ or ‘humanity’ or ‘the free world’ but an attack on the world’s self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions?” These are the folks who applauded Bill Clinton’s fatuous mea culpa appraisal of the WTC attack: “This country once looked the other way when a significant number of native Americans were dispossessed and killed to get their land or their mineral rights or because they were thought of as less than fully human. . . . [W]e are still paying a price today.”

Nice rant, catching Chomsky, Sontag and Clinton in the same idiotarian net.

(link via Justin Sodano)
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may come in your drinking water, according to this story. Good news is that the terrorists would need tons of toxins to do much damage.
Posted by B. Preston at 03:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Another photo of an armed baby has turned up, this time in Hebron. Nice culture those Palestinians have.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


is about to be taken over by a true idiotarian. If the man can't see the morality of a nation defending itself, how can he expect to be taken seriously when discussing the morality of everyday life?
Posted by B. Preston at 12:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


: Patrick Ruffini does, and explains why in a very well-written post.
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, we have a real problem brewing. With all the emphasis on securing the US-Canadian border and increased passenger scrutiny on international air travel, our undefended border with Mexico, a country which has often been a surly friend and occassionally been an outright enemy, may be the new point of entry for thousands of terrorists. So far none have turned up, but neither did the 9-11 19 prior to their deadly deed. Neither did Hadayet, and neither do most terrorists. Factor in the "lilly white" recruiting campaign--where al Qaeda types recruit those with no previous criminal history and no previous connection to terrorist groups, and you're not likely to turn up the vast majority of terrorists until it's too late, or nearly so. Couple this with the fact that countries like Guatemala and Honduras are known shopping spots for the false ID trade, and the drug cartel-financed terror camps in Brazil and elsewhere in South America, and you have a nice little back door path into the US. Al Qaeda doesn't have to regroup in Afghanistan, or Pakistan or the Philippines. They could turn up much closer to home.

President Bush's political gambit of cozying up to Mexican President Vincente Fox (who considers himself President of the Mexican-Americans living here legally, as well as those living here illegally and those who stayed put in Mexico) may get him a few votes but may end up being America's strategic Achilles' heel. I hope not of course, and I think trying to reach out to Hispanics is a great idea--just not in such a potentially dangerous way.

(link thanks to Chris Regan)
Posted by B. Preston at 01:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


has a war plan, and it's already been leaked. We're really in the "false war" stage now, when two sides gear up and try to intimidate each other. We leak a plan to get Saddam with covert teams, he leaks back threatening to use "everything," meaning chemical, biological, the works.

If he uses such weapons against us or our allies, the blame (from a US political point of view) is 100% Clinton's. No inspectors in nearly four years, no backbone when dealing with Iraqi intrasigence or terrorism in general. But I digress.

The linked story details the promises a bunch of Saddam's inner circle made to him should the US and Iraq go at it once more. This one caught my eye:

"I am confident that our entire nation will be set aflame [by the Americans] and they must know that the entire region will turn into rubble with Israel at the forefront."

Either something got lost in the translation, or this guy had one of those Freudian slips. He's basically saying to Saddam "We're toast, the Americans are going to pound us and all our allies to rubble this time, and Israel will emerge as the region's top dog." Oh, I know that's now what he meant, but that's sure how it reads. And it's also how things will likely end up. So score one for whichever of Saddam's yes-men said it--he's unintentionally given us all a pretty fair prediction of the next year or so of Middle Eastern history.

(thanks to Dave, and a couple hours watching Fox this weekend)
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